Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Tale of Two Trays

Sometime after my mother’s death, my dad came to stay with us. It was summer and we frequently ate outside. He noticed what a job it was for me to lug all the plates, silverware and glasses outside and since he was the kind of man who didn’t like to sit around and who liked to make himself useful, he made us a tray. I don’t know whether he used wood that we had lying around, or whether we bought it, but it wasn’t real good wood. However, by the time he’d varnished it, it looked pretty handsome and it was sturdy. We have, in fact, used it for 30 years. It does, however, have one drawback. I’m sure Daddy measured our doorways, but he failed to allow quite enough room for fingers to pass between the jambs. Ernie claims my dad had it in for him, but I think he was trying to make the tray as big as he could. So maneuvering the tray through doorways has become quite an art in this house.

Elizabeth didn’t fail to notice how useful our tray is, and she asked Ernie if he could make one for her. He rose to the challenge, making this magnificent tray with cherry sides and a black bottom, finished with 5 (five) coats of varnish. My job was to crouch down in the workroom and personally guarantee that the drill was being driven in at exactly the right angle to allow the screws attaching the bottom to the sides to go in perfectly aligned. They did. I hope that Jeff and Elizabeth will still be using this tray in 30 years time.

1 comment:

Maggie May said...

It is good to be back but I have some teething problems to sort out.
Your tray is really lovely. I think you would get your knuckles skinned if you tried to walk straight through a door but its fine to turn slightly.