Goofy Dad Stories (6) – Woodleft!

Goofy Dad Stories (6) – Woodleft!

Goofy Dad Stories (6) – Woodleft!

I do realize that I can be a man of few words. Which sometimes is not enough.

One of my first clues was in Newburyport, Mass., right after the Larson family had moved into a 150 year old half-house on Boardman Street. This was in the early 1980’s, and it was our first house. We loved that old house, and we adored the historic town we were living in. We ended up having 3 of our 4 kids born there.

When we first moved in, the to-do list was rather endless. One of our initial projects was to put curtains up in the living room. So there I was, on a ladder, screwdriver in hand, trying to install the curtain rod holders on the ancient wood window frame above the window.

I tried and I tried. I am, without reservation, not gifted in the handyman domestic arts. But this seemed unnecessarily difficult. I couldn’t find a little section of wood that would allow a screw to gain purchase and be solid enough to hang a curtain on. The house was very old, there had been a hundred curtain rod holders on that particular wood frame, and I was having no luck finding a place in which to screw the rod holder.

Finally, our of sheer exasperation, I raised my voice and said, “Nowoodleft!” I admit I should have used more words. I should have simply said, “There is no wood left in this old window frame into which to place the screw.” But no, I chose to economize on my words. My wife, dutifully steadying the ladder, said in response, “What?” So I repeated my sparse statement, “Nowoodleft!” She waits a moment, and then sweetly and innocently asked me, “What’s a woodleft?”

Then I knew. I had to use more words. I had to verbally express myself a little more clearly. We still think of this as the woodleft incident, and I have tried to remember its lesson these 40+ years of wedded bliss.