When my Grandpa Charlie lost his home and came to stay at my moms house, he began dividing up his possessions. He let me use his vacuum, his blender and his mixer. He gave Christian his harmonica and a box full of boy stuff; a compass, a lock and key and strong magnets.
He gave Mike his tool chest.
Which is full of vintage and new tools. I didn't realize it at the time how much those tools would come to mean to me. As I didn't realize then, either, how much of him was in my mom and how much of him was passed down to me. Fortunately the ears got smaller, but the creative drive has not diminished through the generations.
I am grateful for his presence on my work desk. In the hole punches tucked in a battered leather pouch. The chasing hammer that has a century of texture carved into its steel head. The pliers without cushy foam grips. And the railroad spike that I first began hammering against.
I wish I could show him what I have made with his old tools. I think he would have been proud.