something to stand on – generosity 2

Saturday, I used an antique. Last week, I used it, too. (That is, if nearly 50 years old counts as antique.)

When I was four or five, my dad used some plywood and made a stool. He drilled fingerholes in the top and a larger hole at either end. If I remember right, I probably played more with the little “wheels” that came out of the holes than I appreciated the stool.

I have no idea where the wheels ended up, but I know exactly where the stool is. It has been several different colors. It has lived in three apartments and five houses. It is now in the downstairs bathroom, except when it is in the garage or the living room or wherever else I need a 12″ boost. Saturday I used it while installing a track for new folding doors. I used it in the garage to plug an extension cord in an overhead outlet.

Dad made other stools for my sisters and our children. They are all fancier, smoother, stained rather than painted. Mine was born of utility more than woodcraft, though the cutouts and the design and the durability suggest that dad was putting into it the basics he learned as an architecture major.

What he gave me in that stool is something simple and solid to stand on. He has given much since then. One of my parents’ primary ways of saying “I love you” is with gifts…small (and sometimes not small) tangible objects. But I think that of everything I’ve gotten, it all is summed up in that stool.

A simple gift to a young child. Something to stand on.

I’m curious. What useful gift were you given as a child that has followed you to adulthood?


This post is part of Robert Hruzek’s group-writing project.

3 responses to “something to stand on – generosity 2

  1. I know what you mean, Jon. My wife has a few things from her father’s hands as well. Now that he’s gone to Heaven, it’s a connection with him that helps, somehow.

  2. “Something to stand on.”

    That is so so sweet and practical 😀

    Perhaps we have all received gifts but not yet realize the significance of that gift. I am sure you didn’t realize when you were little that the gift of the stool was so that you could have “something to stand on”. I am sure you realized that later, as you grew up.

  3. Jon – you over-achiever, you! Two lovely postings… I’ll have to check out your third one! 😉