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My Handy Dandy

July 14, 2010

When we came back from our recent trip to Ohio, we came back with the rear of the van loaded with treasures.   Wanna see one?

First I need to tell you a small story.  When my younger sister was of preschool age, my dad took three pieces of 2″x8″ lumber and made her a simple little platform stool.  He painted it white and she used it to be taller so she could see what he was doing at his workbench.  Being a natural climber and an unrepentant snoop, she also used it for all sorts of mischief.  She called it her “Handy Dandy”.  And oh, was it ever.  She never outgrew it.  No matter how tall she got, there was always something a little higher than she was that needed to be inspected, usually a stash of Christmas gifts.  You know, my dad is a really smart guy but for the life of me I have NO clue why he built something that would give that child the ability to climb and reach even higher.

She’s still an unrepentant snoop, by the way.  And I think she birthed one just like herself.

Anyway, a while back I told dad that I’d like a Handy Dandy too.  I thought it would be nice to have a small sturdy step stool for little reaching just a bit higher in the kitchen and stuff like that.

Little did I know when I said that that he’d really take it to heart.  He researched patterns, sorted through his wood and created a masterpiece for me.

This is my Handy Dandy:

Here it is, sitting amongst the petals of my mom's clematis vine.

These are old square nail holes. This came from the door frame of the church I grew up in. It is 125 years old.

No nails were used to build my Handy Dandy.

Dad varnished the details of the Handy Dandy underneath its top.

Here the Handy Dandy is being shown with its creator. Thanks, Dad!

I love this thing.  I love everything about it.  It’s really gorgeous.  When he gave it to me he pointed out some of the mistakes he made when making it.  I like it better because it’s not “perfect”.  It’s imperfections make it more perfect to me.  And I love that he made it for me.

We also hauled home a Christmas gift he made for our family. It was a game of cornhole, painted scarlet and gray and emblazoned with The Ohio State University logo.  We broke it in before we left, playing a few rounds with my sister and her husband and my dad and the youngest Sparkette.  My sister and  her husband won, but I’m pretty sure they cheated.  I don’t know how they cheated, but I’m sure they did.

She wants my Handy Dandy, you know.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Janet permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:47 pm

    What a cool story and a priceless treasure! :o)

  2. Karen permalink
    July 15, 2010 4:14 am

    Love it, Lisa! I have a butcher board cutting block made from walnut and maple right off a friend’s farm that he made with his own hands! What a treasure you have in that stool, and in your dad!

  3. Karen permalink
    July 15, 2010 4:15 am

    …think I meant to say butcher block cutting board. Hahahah…it’s early here.

  4. July 15, 2010 6:02 am

    What a great story on so many levels, and what a great gift!

  5. Julie permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:03 am

    Weeeeee are the champions! :) I still think you should’ve left your handy dandy here so I could break it in. Esp. since mine has been in dad’s garage for over 20 years and he probably used it to make yours. I’m sure he did.

    • July 15, 2010 8:15 am

      Haha! He should me “the original”. Um…that thing could use a coat of paint!

  6. Kellie permalink
    July 15, 2010 10:01 am

    This is GREAT, Lisa! It tells a wonderful tale of a father’s love for his daughter, one who was “chosen” and greatly cherished.

  7. Eric Partin permalink
    July 15, 2010 2:14 pm

    I would love to have one of those. You can pass this on to your dad if you want.

  8. July 16, 2010 2:02 pm

    I love it! It’s charming!

  9. August 5, 2010 7:04 pm

    Oh Lisa…..what a precious gift! Your dad is the best dad ever for being so thoughtful!! Wow! That is sooo awesome! This handy dandy will be passed down from generation to generation! Sooo cool! I want one :))))

  10. Robin permalink
    June 19, 2016 8:20 pm

    I love this story and your Handy Dandy! What a pecial gift! I also love your dad and mom by the way.

    • June 19, 2016 10:03 pm

      They’re pretty easy to love, aren’t they? Oh, and thank you!

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