Workshop Ramblings #5: Life Happens and Emotions Get In the Way

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Blog entry by brianinpa posted 05-31-2009 04:10 AM 1937 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Too Many Hobbies! Part 5 of Workshop Ramblings series Part 6: Ain't this fun? »

May has been a busy, busy month and no time was spent in the shop. Two days ago our youngest son graduated from high school. His graduation was the culmination of a senior year that included numerous band and choral events and concerts including local, county, district, regional, and State festivals. A graduation is a humbling event to watch as your youngest son walks across the stage and accepts his diploma. A lot of anxiety and awe were present during this event, but most of this was coming from his mother and I.

Our oldest son graduated High School last year and went away to college but his younger brother was still at home. Tomorrow he will turn 18 and in a few months he will be going away to a College that is several hours away. His absence will make our house seem very empty. His musical talents (singing, piano, and flute) kept the house noisy and busy all year long: practices both at home and away, all the events he participated in kept us busy and hopping, and his friends were here adding to the “beautiful noise.”

For the past 20 years a child has been in our house. I use the word child figuratively because both of our sons stopped being children years ago and I am very proud of all they have become, but old habits die hard. It will be very strange for my wife and I to sit in a house that has been so busy for so long. I look forward to it, but I am still apprehensive. This empty nest will give us the opportunity to spend more time together and do the things we used to do, and it will also give me more time to spend in the shop. I know that this phenomenon is nothing new and parents are experiencing it every day, but it is still hard to handle when life happens.

Now how do I convince my wife I need a new band saw?

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

11 comments so far

View waukez's profile


21 posts in 4451 days

#1 posted 05-31-2009 04:51 AM

Maybe you could buy it for your wife. Maybe you could talk her into thinking she needed one very badly. Maybe she does but just hasn’t discovered that part of herself yet. Children leaving the nest sometimes cause a vacuum that you can help fill with a little guided companionship. go very easy. Ive been here before more than once.

-- Tool Maker

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4502 days

#2 posted 05-31-2009 05:07 AM

ask what she is interested , and LISTEN .
then show her what you are interested in , and explain that with a band saw you could do so much more .
just be carefull with the ” i could fix the…....” .
you might wind up remodeling the house !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4884 days

#3 posted 05-31-2009 05:16 AM

Thanks, but the comment about the band saw was more of a tounge in cheek comment. I have a small 10” saw, but after seeing some of the recent bandsaw boxes, these have me thinking I may need something bigger.

That may work, but there isn’t much of a chance I could get her into my shop. She refers to it as the dusty place she parks her car.

I have spent too much time working off her honey do list. Currently at the top of her list is finishing the ceiling in our basement game room.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View DocK16's profile


1199 posts in 5248 days

#4 posted 05-31-2009 05:50 AM

I too have 2 sons who went away to college and left a quiet house. It is sad to see them grow up so fast but try not to shed too many tears. Our eldest finished grad school and came home to live 2 years ago and is still here, at least he’s workiing. Younger son is on summer vacation and at home for the summer. They always come home to roost at least for a little while. I’d have no shame in weasling a new tool out or this “ordeal” might as well be a new bandsaw.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5100 days

#5 posted 05-31-2009 12:37 PM

Life must be good for you Brian. If I had two kids in college I’d be asking the bank for another mortgage rather the wife for a bandsaw. ;-)

I can also tell you from experience, that empty nesting grows on you. You still miss the kids, but it’s nice when they go home.

-- Working at Woodworking

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 5070 days

#6 posted 05-31-2009 12:46 PM

Empty nesting isnt all bad. Yes we miss our kids but that just makes their visits all that more enjoyable. Keep in mind, with the kids gone, you can walk around the house in your skivies and no one will complain. LOL.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View flcopper169's profile


187 posts in 4500 days

#7 posted 05-31-2009 01:52 PM

I got both my boys a set of luggage for their graduation presents… LOL….They both came home again…but at least they had a set of luggage to leave again….LOL…

You’ll get over the lack of noise when you’re spending more time doing what you and your wife love to do… That includes taking time to smell the roses…

Life is good…Count your blessings…


-- Happy and safe woodworking, [email protected]

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5407 days

#8 posted 05-31-2009 03:08 PM

I remember that feeling very well. But it is a great opportunity for you and the wife to do the things you’ve been wanting to do for years. My wife and I bought a boat and started going to different lakes every weekend. It was a great time. Then we started fishing the Great Lakes and that was even more fun, a little scarier for my wife, but she hung in there. You’ll do things together and thats the trick to keeping your marriage alive. It’s been 36 years for us.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4884 days

#9 posted 05-31-2009 03:59 PM

I always considered that children are like boomerangs: throw them out and they will come back. Throw them out is another one of those figurative terms in that I could never truly throw either of them out of my life. I see the things my parents have been doing since my brother, sister, and I moved away and have longed for the time to be able to do similar things. Then grand kids came along and there was something different about them and my in-laws.

My wife and I have said that our sons will always be welcome in our house and can return anytime they want. We mean it when we say it, but there is always that hope that it is not necessary, but in this economy you just never know. I like the idea of luggage! I hope I am not sounding too selfish when I say this, but I am looking forward to having my wife back. We put things on hold for ourselves so we could raise our children. It will be nice to reconnect.

I already have a small boat; maybe a bigger boat is better than a band saw. I am certain she will never use a band saw, but I think I could convince her onto a boat.
saw. I am certain she will never use a band saw, but I think I could convince her onto a boat.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 4859 days

#10 posted 06-01-2009 01:53 PM

I know what you mean. My youngest son graduated high school last Saturday and goes to school again this fall. My oldest has been away at college for 2 years. I bought a new bandsaw 2 weeks ago, with the wifes blessing. She has recently gotten into marquetry and I told her with a bandsaw I could make her veneer.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4884 days

#11 posted 06-01-2009 04:09 PM


You have me thinking maybe I could talk her out into the shop.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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