“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters;

and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ” 

―Virgina Woolf,  A Room of One’s Own

I am my father’s daughter.  I am neither licensed nor schooled in any technical field.  Rather, I learned at the foot of a master, my dad.  He was a handy guy, driven to tackle projects by curiosity and limited only by his imagination.  Home improvement projects were his passion, his hobby, not his career.  He learned his craft when tuberculosis confined him to bed for several years.  While his contemporaries were busy fighting overseas in WWII or marrying and starting families, Daddy lay in bed and took correspondence classes through the mail, learning to fix radios and tvs, how to hang wallpaper, how to cut perfect angles with a hand-held mitre saw.  Years later, I was his child apprentice, eager to please and thrilled at gaining access to his meticulously organized toolbox.  Through the years, we built cabinets, hung wallpaper, painted walls, tiled backsplashes, mostly successfully and always punctuated with a lot of laughter and even more cursing.  He was Italian, after all.

I continue to carry on this tradition of fixing stuff up.  Sometimes my husband Eugene and twin teenaged daughters even help.  Now that I’m taking a “pause” from teaching high school English, my fervor for home improvements is at a fever pitch, as I finally have the time to start (and even complete!) projects that will add character, whimsy, and functionality to our home.  I know that Daddy is watching every step of every project, with a critical eye and a warm, approving smile.

Thanks for reading!

Carol Rende


6 responses »

  1. That’s a sweat introduction Carol. Sounds like you and your dad were great pals. Me and my dad too. I might even boast a tad and say, I’m a little handier than my hubby, who’d rather just call someone 😀 I grew up with 3 brothers and a trucking dad, so I do have some tool skills but not as confident as I’d like to be with power tools. I’m going to follow your stories and hopefully learn something along the way. Cheers and Good Luck.


  2. You choked me up – my dad too can fix anything – even a CD player when he had at the time never even used one! He upholstered furniture, makes box drums, painted and built rooms from nothing with no money . You and I are kindred spirits with kindred dads! Thanks for following!


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