This past week my father flew out to help with the restoration of a 200-year-old cape my wife and I have undertaken. (More on that here.) Because we have to get the entire house off the property before July 31st, you could say that this disassembly stage of the process is time sensitive. Although things have gone incredibly smooth and we are actually a little ahead of schedule, I looked forward to having my Dad come out to help.
It was an inimitable experience working side by side with him this week. It was a joy to marvel together at the craftsmanship of our heritage. As we removed the modern central chimney and porches (which was more akin to demolition than preservation) we spent hours talking about craft, business and life.
It will be a few years before my wife and I begin to reassemble this house on our property. As we do and then continue to raise our children within its walls, I know this past week will stand out to me as a special chapter of the project. Working hard, sweating and bleeding next to my father to preserve a piece of our woodworking heritage is something I will cherish to my last days.
I don’t know the best way for everyone to connect with their father but let me recommend picking up hammer, plane or chisel. Stand with him exercising diligence, patience and skill on a project of mutual interest. There nothing quite like the satisfaction of working with your father to strengthen your respect for the man who raised you. Your appreciation for his wisdom and example will deepen.
— Joshua Klein