The radio station that I regularly listen to used to have listeners call in on Monday mornings with their ‘high’ and their ‘low’ from the weekend. It was amusing to hear what kinds of things people called in with. But it also made you think about life and how it really is all about the highs and the lows, and how often they happen in the same week.
But this week the balance got a little out of whack around here.
Mr. Q’s bff (I’m pretty sure they don’t call each other bff’s, but I can, right?) came to visit from New York to help him celebrate his birthday.
Mr. Q’s 100 year old grandpa’s health has been steadily declining and this week they officially put him on hospice care. Grandpa Bud has been ready to go for a while now. He hasn’t had much quality of life for the last couple of years. Mr. Q has breakfast and lunch with him every day, which is an awesome thing and I know Bud enjoys seeing him, but nonetheless Bud has made it clear that he is tired and ready to be done with this thing we call life. He says that no one should live to be 100. So although it’s hard to see Bud declining, it is not unexpected and it will ultimately be a blessing when Bud goes.
And another low:
And then while my mother-in-law was in town to attend a meeting about her dad going on hospice care, her husband’s incredibly amazing workshop burned down.
You might remember when I blogged about Tom’s fabulous workshop about two years ago.
When Tom & Naomi moved back to this area from New Orleans several years ago they bought a fixer upper property. Their plan was to fix it up over time doing all of the work themselves. They live on a very modest fixed income, so they have to space the work out over time as they can afford the supplies. It’s absolutely nothing like an episode of Fixer Upper where the work is done by a team of people in the space of a month or two.
Their initial priority was to build a workshop for Tom to work in. He is an amazing woodworker. I showed you the trim he made for the front of their house …
But before he got to that trim, Tom spent several years getting his workshop up and running. He’s been continuing to work on it while also working on the house. The upstairs of the workshop was nearing completion. Naomi had just called me last week to ask if I would help them stencil the ceiling (which I thought would make an awesome future blog post).
They heated the workshop with a giant wood burning stove.
They thought it was safe.
They were wrong.
Although there is no official word on the cause of the fire, it’s likely that it was a spark from the wood burning stove.
Not only did Tom lose his workshop, but he lost everything in it.
His tools and supplies, his books, his photos of past projects.
What used to look like this …
Now looks this …
But worse yet, he also lost some of his most precious things like this amazing miniature train chapel car that he built many years ago for Naomi.
Which now looks like this …
Remember the tiny boats that he carved …
Yes, these are just things. And no one was hurt, which is absolutely the most important thing here. We haven’t lost sight of that and we feel totally fortunate that this wasn’t so much worse.
But I know many of you are fellow artisans and can probably understand the loss that we are all feeling, most especially Tom. Many of the pieces in that workshop were ones that he put his heart and soul into crafting by hand.
My sister-in-law Heather has set up a Go Fund Me page for Tom & Naomi.
So today I am doing something I’ve never done before (and hopefully won’t ever have to again). I’m asking you to consider showing your support for my blog with something more than just a comment. Even if all you have to give is $10 or $20, if even just 100 of you can give a small amount … well, you can do the math. It will add up.
It will also go a long way towards helping Tom & Naomi rebuild. Although they are insured, the insurance is never going to pay out enough to replace all of the equipment that was in the shop, and certainly never enough to replace the handmade details that made the workshop what it was.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart if you are able to help. And even if you can’t help with a donation, just knowing that people care would be a big boost to Tom & Naomi’s morale, so please leave a comment that I can share with them.