the 64 Arts | #35 Woodworking

64 Arts

Oooh, power tools!

The next art, in case I didn’t make that clear already, is

35 Woodwork

Using a lathe and other tools.

See? Just like I said: power tools. We don’t own a lathe, but Todd does have a good selection of other tools to choose from.

Only I get a little antsy around power tools.

I developed a phobia of large blades–both still and electric–after a small blade incident* made it necessary to get four stitches in my left index finger. Sounds like a simple accident, right? But somewhere between doing the stupid thing to cause the accident/incident (because it was totally my own fault), driving myself to the emergency room just shy of being in shock, waiting 6 hours (from 10pm to 4am) before getting into the doctor, and the meltdown I had when they gave me the shot of lidocaine before the stitches I was scarred, way more than skin-deep.

Todd mows the lawn and I flinch every time the mower hits a stick or rock and changes rhythm. If he’s in the garage cutting something (often a project I’ve cooked up for us, as I’ll be showing you in future posts), it takes a LOT of deep breaths not to completely panic over the worst-case scenarios flashing through my head. I haven’t even touched my beloved Dremel in years. Even the huge cutters at work–which require each hand on a safety button, well away from the blades, before the foot-pedal to start the cutting action can be engaged–give me the willies!

But Todd loves his power tools and enjoys almost any reason to use them or, you know, buy more. And he’s always careful, I just can’t help but worry. As scared as they make me, I’m certainly not going to stop him!

(Typing all of that out makes me think of Aunt Josephine from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which just makes me feel all the more silly, but there you go.)

So this art, while I’m going to enjoy showing you a couple of the projects Todd & I have already done together, will be a challenge on a couple of levels. First, to find a fresh project I’d like to do for the blog and, second, to tamp down my fears enough to actually do it!

Wish me luck!

*Fallout notwithstanding, I managed to make light of the situation as best I could in my comic strip. Click through that link and you’ll see my take on the experience.

Anticipation or Aprehension

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
A figure waiting on a bench, looking out to sea

image via stock.xchng | photo by coolza

The ring was ordered and I knew the official proposal would be coming whenever the ring was ready. We were told a couple of days but I figured on a week, just to keep myself from going absolutely stir-crazy.

I was excited for the most part, but as the week wore on there were seeds of dread that started to sprout.

I was excited and happy BUT also a little embarrassed to be–like I’m not allowed to feel this way. Like, been there, done that. The do-over is cool and all, but keep it low-key.

I might have also been a wee bit gun-shy; before I’d closed the door to marriage I’d been engaged a couple times without making it to the altar (apparently I inspire a forever feeling in some men, at least at first). I was afraid this over-cautious feeling would last through the whole process–2 years+!–and that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it fully until it was done, and then it would be too late.

Lots of deep breaths, lots of reminders to live in the moment.

I think a lot of encore brides face this fear: we’re not young, fresh with stars in our eyes, etc. We’re more mature (supposedly), we know what can happen when a marriage goes wrong and are a little jaded about some of the happily-ever-after-isms out there.

Or, at least, that’s how we think other expect us to be. As much fun as I’d had reading wedding books and magazines, thinking up ways to make that day more us, and soaking up all the inspiration that was out there on the Internet, I was still feeling a little weird–not about the engagement becoming official so much as announcing it to our friends and family.

I started wondering if those family and friends would be as happy for us as I wanted them to be. Some would, I was sure, but what about those who just kinda took the information and had no reaction? Would that hurt? In my mind it already did. As much as I consider myself to be realistically optimistic, I’ve always lived by the “expect the worst, hope for the best” maxim. And I’ve got a doozy of an imagination for the worst case scenario.

The Wednesday before the engagement was the worst (almost-in-tears-at-my-desk-worst) over the imagined slights of those around us who took the news with ‘oh, okay, whatever.’ I was so glad when T didn’t come home with the ring that day and confessed my fears.

Getting it off my chest made a world of difference, though. By the next day I was back to looking forward to the upcoming reveal.

Did you ever worry about how other people
would react to news of your engagement?

The Lady Doth Object Too Much

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
Stop Sign

image via stock.xchng | illustration by Billy Frank Alexander Design

So I mentioned that even though the door to marriage had opened a crack, I was still on the fence about whether or not I really wanted to give marriage another shot. These were some of my objections and, I’m willing to bet, they’re similar to a lot of women (and men) considering a 2nd, 3rd or more-th trip down the aisle.

  • Things are fine the way they are, why rock the boat?
  • I don’t feel like changing my name on all my accounts!
  • Debts: I’ve got ‘em and he doesn’t, it’s not fair to saddle him with them (and vice versa).
  • We’re not planning on having children/buying a house, what’s the point of being married?
  • I told Mom she could/should shoot me if I ever talked about getting married again.
  • A marriage license is a contract, I’m contractually obligated to be here, with him, as opposed to choosing each day to show up and be present and love him–I don’t like being obligated to anyone!

If you think that sounds like a whole series to cover, you’re right. I’ve actually puzzled through answers or rebuttals to most of them and will be sharing my thoughts with you, shortly.

Every good con deserves a pro, though, and there were a few definite benefits to being married versus shacking up:

  • Husband and wife sound so much better than boyfriend/girlfriend–we’re in our 30s and 40s for pity’s sake!
  • A wedding is a great big party, and I love throwing a good party.
  • Should (heaven forbid) something happen to one of us, being married would cut through a lot of red tape as far as decision-making goes (next of kin, otherwise, would be Mr. Road Trip’s parents up in Nebaska!).
  • And, hey, some folks can still get tax benefits for being married, right?!

I know a lot of those pros seem terribly dull and practical, not at all romantic or emotionally persuasive. At the same time, though, these practicalities are very important to consider, and not just for brides and grooms who are older than the national average. Life can change on a dime and these practical details are what get you through the day to day.

My favorite Disney movie, Meet the Robinsons, includes the immortal line: “From failure you learn, from success? Not so much.

I might have (okay, definitely have) made some mistakes in the past. And while some of the fall-out was supreme caution and a bit of second-guessing, it also gave me perspective that I didn’t have–and wouldn’t have listened to from others–earlier.

Did you have any questions or obstacles you had to overcome
before agreeing to (another) marriage?