• Laurel

The Bookshelf

When thinking about my grandpa, I was reminded so vividly that what I do now matters.

My grandpa and I Christmas of 1984.

When I was a pre-teen, he asked me what he should make for me. He was a self-taught woodworker and it was time for my build. Each of his grandkids was asked to pick a big-ticket item. A desk. A chest. Being the youngest, I had to wait my turn. What to pick? It was a very difficult decision because there were so many options. I chose a shelf. Cherry. It had to be cherry wood. See, I had spent hours with him in his workshop and watched him twiddle away. The smell of the wood, the sawdust, it was comforting. He'd always explain what he was doing and let me have a try every once in a while. I used a router to write my name in a piece of scrap wood. Walnut. I picked walnut. Oak was good too. I didn't like pine so much. I loved his woodworking.

When he gifted me the shelf, he passed over these little silver pieces of hardware and told me, "These are not cheap. I don't want you to lose them because I won't replace any." He gave me just enough shelf pins to hold the adjustable shelves.

The bookshelf! Its first contents were stuffed animals and a Caboodle. Hello, 1980's.

Later it became a bookshelf and a place to hold my cassette tapes. Yes, that's a JTT and Johnny Depp magazine cutout above my loft.

Shortly after college, it became my game shelf.

This shelf has moved with me over 20 times. We stored it in my friend's basement when we were traveling and I was so excited to bring it back to our home when we returned last year.

It's still getting great use.

I wonder if my grandpa knew the shelf he was building that day would someday hold ​something so precious. What he did... every joint, every cut, every sanding stroke, every brush of stain... it all mattered.

The contents today.

I still have all the shelf pins, Grandpa.


© 2015 by STUDENT OF LIFE. Proudly created with

  • Instagram Black Round
This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now