Craft and Friendship

I grew up in a small white ranch house in a blue collar town in Massachusetts.  Our house was one of those open door houses.  It was a regular occurrence to hear a rapping knock, followed by the immediate sound of the door opening and a loud “HELLO!  Anybody home?” 

My Dad’s friends stopped by frequently.  Mr. Sorel was a frequent visitor with a “How about those Giants?”  That question always led to some light hearted debate about the Patriots and the Giants.  Mr. Carvalaho, Luis, was also a frequent visitor.  His visits were typically because he was in need of some tool, which my Dad, of course, always had.

A few weeks ago, Hannah and Megan made their way to my sister’s house in Rhode Island to make some homemade pasta.  After their pasta making party, my sister, Hannah, and Megan stopped in to the little white ranch to visit with my Mom and Dad for a bit before heading back to CT.

The morning after the visit, Megan, still sleepy, blurted out,  “I want to make a rolling pin with Grampa.”  “OK, Meg.  I’ll text Grandma and see if we can get up there before you go to camp.”  

A week later, Megan and I hopped in the car and made our way two hours north on 95 to the little white ranch to make a rolling pin.

After a quick lunch, Megan and my Dad made their way to the basement shop to get started on the rolling pin.  My Mom and I were left upstairs to do whatever our hearts desired.  We were not “invited” to partake in the making of the rolling pin.

My Mom, in search of an outfit to wear to an upcoming wedding, put on a fashion show for me.  When the outfit was decided upon, we found ourselves making piles of “stuff” to get donated.

Suddenly, I heard the garage door to the house slam shut and I thought I heard someone yell.  My Mom stopped her perusing of books and said “Oh, that’s just Luis.  He must be here for your father.”  “Some things never change!”  I said to my mother as I got up to head downstairs to confirm it was a Luis visit.  It was.

I came back up stairs and got into another random task with my Mom.  We got settled in our “work” and we heard the door slam again.  “Luis left.”  My Mom said casually.  Clearly, the comings and going of Luis had not changed in the years since I left.

Minutes later, it slammed again.  “Who’s that now?”  I laughed at my Mom.“Who knows?”  she laughed back.

Curiosity got the best of me and I abandoned my Mom and made my way back to the basement.

I could hear the lathe running.  I could hear muffled voices as I made approached the basement.  I recognized Luis’ voice, he was back.  I came around the corner and there was Mr. Vatcher from down the street.  Dell’s Lemonade in hand, Mr. Vatcher and Luis stood side by side watching Megan using the gouge and the lathe to craft her rolling pin.  My Dad was by her side, the coach watching the apprentice.  He could see and sense that she had it all under control, so he stepped back and watched like a visitor.

Careful not to disturb the scene, I stopped and watched them, watch her.

The generations came together around craft and friendship.





7 thoughts on “Craft and Friendship”

  1. So many stories here, woven into one. I had hoped you would write about the rolling pin- no idea the layers it would entail. A sweet story on so many levels. I loved that Megan had this time with your dad, as well as a gift to remember the day….the time with your mom… the friends and memories of the past. You brought it all together so well.


  2. This story brought me back to day in my own childhood so long ago when my great uncle took me to his fascinating workshop with the low ceiling and the musty saw dusty smell to make a rolling pin. I still have it. Thanks for the memory boost.


  3. Such fun to hear of your open door home and see that friends still frequent it. I love the pic of your daughter making the rolling pin, and the others standing back to watch. A wonderful family story, preserved because you chose to write about it!


  4. So many stories in this one slice. I think it’s so cool that your daughter wanted to make a rolling pin (of all things) with her grandpa. What a precious memory for her and you!


  5. What a beautiful story about coming together as a family. It was so much more than making a rolling pin, it is about love. This slice is filled with family traditions that seemed to start in your parents’ small white ranch.


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