Dads and Grandpas

With fathers celebrating everywhere today, I thought I’d take a few minutes to show you about my dad. He was known as Grandpa to his grandkids, but that also became the name we used more often than not when talking to him. Grandpa passed away almost 9 years ago, at the young age of only 65. He had a severe heart attack and died instantly, with no warning to any of us of what was to happen.
Grandpa was known for being a fantastic handyman; if you wanted anything built or made, altered or fixed, inside or out, he could do it. He never worked as a carpenter or builder and was not trained so everything he knew he taught himself. Over the years when I was growing up I have memories of him designing small pieces of furniture or accessories around the home. He made model train sets that took copious amounts of time and space; he would help with adding a deck to someone’s back yard or put up shelves in the bedroom, or make timber planters and pots for Mum’s bonsaii. Their last house was one that he designed completely himself, and obtained an owner-builder’s license to build, with a little help from his son-in-laws. It was an eight-sided house with the kitchen as the central hub, all made of timber in a bushland setting.
My sister and I inherited his love of reading; the bookshelves in all our houses have groaned from the weight of books. His love of making things has also been passed on to us, and I hope that continues with our children.
I thought I would show some photos of a few things Dad made that I have in my home. This first one is a rocking horse. It is one of many he made in the last 10 years or so. He was meticulous in researching the correct way to make things; he taught himself basic leatherwork to make the bridle, halter and reins and saddle, he sourced proper horse hair for the mane and tail, read up on the traditional rocking motions for horses and when making a horse to sell would paint it to resemble’s a client’s own horse. Because he was taken so prematurely we never got a chance to have him make one for our family, so when he died this was the only one we could find to buy back.

He also made a beautiful fully functional grandfather clock, which is now at my sister’s house, so it is lovely that we have these things to remind us of his skill. The blanket box below was one of many beautiful things he made for Mum.

My dining table was also one that I ‘commissioned’ him to make for me (the chairs were bought separately). I wanted a table to look like it was old and country-style, so Dad had to take to it with a bag full of nails, hitting the table to put suitable marks in it- a difficult thing for him to have to do! He found some old previously-used timber for the legs and made it to be fully-extendable.

And this little teddy bear box was a quick little weekend job for the teddy bears that Mum liked to make.

Many years ago he also made for me this cotton reel holder- the tall one seen to the right of my sewing machine. I had full intentions of asking him to make a larger wall-mounted version as well, but that was not to be.
He was a clever and artistic man, our Grandpa.

5 thoughts on “Dads and Grandpas

  1. Karen, you naughty girl you made me cry! I miss our dad and our mum, but we have these beautiful things they left us as daily reminders

  2. What a thoughtful post on your Daddy. My daddy left quickly like this at 75 years old. His name is Murry, but we called him Nurnee (thanks to my son, who as a young child couldn’t seem to say Murry!) Even his nickname got shortened and we often called him Nurn or The Nurns. Treasured memories.
    Our fathers don’t have much else in common as mine could barely hang a picture and read only the sports section!
    Thanks for sharing your love for your dad, it brought back memories for me.

  3. Hi Karen, what a lovely post about your dad, just sad he isn’t there anymore …
    (father’s day is the third sunday in June over here …. Europe that is ;-) !)
    Nice you joined the “Jude club”

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