Arts and Crafts…Well, Maybe a Little Bit of Craft

Retired folks seem more than capable of entertaining themselves. Sometimes that entertainment shows the differences in each of us.

For example, Maureen is an artist with an amazing capability for color and design. She pursues art. Even her sewing projects are art in the process. In the last year or so, she has also pursued felting. The finished products are truly works of art. And then, she gets these ideas and they just seem to work, like the felt piece hanging in our family room.

And then, she adds a twist by putting her felting art around a tall and slender glass (maybe a vase, hmm?) and inserting a small, micro light string.

That’s what you get when you can do what she does.


Well, i appreciate art, but i grew up with a father who was a practical man, and then, i spent just over 22 years in the Navy. And i have to tell you, there is not a lot of art in the Navy of old, beautiful things, yes, like the sea and the sky and the dolphins playing alongside in the bow wave. And some of us believe driving an old Navy steam ship without computers was as much art as science. But i don’t think you can call me someone who creates art. i am a practical man.

i’ve spent the bulk of the last several days replanting and refreshing the soil in our garden boxes. Our tomatoes are fewer but we still have them. Even the strawberries are blooming, although having one or two strawberries every day or so is only satisfying if you are the person who is maintaining the garden. And i cured our new Kamado grill. The first steak night was a success, she sits outside awaiting my first smoked turkey for Thanksgiving.

For an example of my practicality, there is a backstory. For years, my father saved the change in his pocket and gave it to Blythe and later Sam. Much later, i followed suit taking my coins and depositing into a savings account we created for Sam.

My Aunt Bettye Kate Hall knew of this practice and for a Christmas or birthday gift, gave me a battery powered coin sorter. i used it until it broke, then doctored it a bit and used it for another half-dozen years or so. It was about ten years ago when it broke for good. i have hand sorted the coins since then until a couple of months ago when i did a search and found some coin sorters but individual sorters for my pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

The problem with my purchase is none are very steady. i was frequently knocking them over, picking up the coins on my hands and knees and starting over. So last week, i used my drill to fix my problem. i made a coin sorter holder. As i finished in my garage workshop, i laughed. Maureen had hung her felting piece about two days earlier. The two projects demonstrated, i thought, the difference between the two of us.

i carried my project into the house, an old piece of 2×3 lumber with four drill holds holding colorful coin sorters. i took them into the family room, showed it to Maureen and asked what she thought of “work of art.” After she picked herself off the floor from laughing, i started to leave when i turned and suggested we put it on the mantel, finely decorated by a master named Maureen.

i don’t think she laughed.

My piece of art is in my office closet…but it is useful, and i like it.

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