Look Ma No Hands-1LinerWeds JusJoJan

Last Saturday, our daughter Faith and I attended the Woodworking Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The show is held at the Big-E fairgrounds, in one of the smaller buildings. The show missed a year, due to Covid and has been struggling to attract vendors and crowds. This year was a little better than last year, but it may take a few years to get back to pre-Covid levels.

Pre-Covid (and a few more hyphenated words) is my Jot today for yesterday’s prompt for Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan challenge. Sally, from ‘Hot Dogs and Marmalade’ gave us the following prompt:

“Your prompt for JusJoJan January 17th 2023, is ‘hyphenated.’ Use the word ‘hyphenated’ any way you’d like. Enjoy!”

“Pre-Covid” defines an era, a beloved past, a simpler time when we came and went without fear of being infected. Pre-Covid is when we worked in offices, sat in meetings, dined at tables, and attended events like the WoodWorking Show where we would squeeze and bump our way through a crowd. I’m not sure if we are currently post-Covid or living-with-Covid, but it’s not the same as it was.

Faith and I wore masks inside the building. We were in the minority, but we were far from the only ones taking that precaution. We looked at tools, both old and new, and we watched vendors demonstrating their tools. As we have done in the past several years, we spent a lot of time picking our way through the stock of a couple wood suppliers. I was looking for “interesting” hunks of wood. I’ve made bowls, and bookends from pieces of highly figured, damaged, insect infested, and rotted wood. I look at these pieces from all angles and try see if I see something hiding in the wood.

At one end of the piece I bought, I see the potential for an interesting clock. My initial thought was that I would hollow out the kinda-sorta-already-round rotted area and stick a clock in it. Faith suggested that I figure out a way to put a clockwork mechanism in through the back of the rotted area and use the wood surrounding that round rotted area as the face.

My way would be easy. I’m talking drill-a-hole-in-five-minutes easy. Faith’s way is unbelievably difficult. I have to slice a clock body out of the wood. Then I need to slice what will be the back of the clock off. Then, in the area under the back, I need to create a pocket for the movement body. Then I need to push the clock stem through a hole in that rotted area and install the hands. Finally, I need to cover the movement with the back I sliced off, leaving an access panel so I can set the time and change the batteries in the future. Either of the following statements can be my one-liner today. My comment to Faith is first, followed by her reply.

“Thanks for suggesting an approach that will be much more complicated, but which will result in a better-looking clock.”

“You’re welcome. By the way. You’ve been doing that to me all my life.

She’s right. My father used to do that to me when I was a kid. I guess it’s a tradition.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. And, given the time of the year, it’s also part of Just-Jot-January. If you have a one-liner, I encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

If you like magical realism with suspense, action and a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

The Evil You Choose
When Evil Chooses You

Series page on Amazon

My profile page (and books) on Lulu

All available on Kindle Unlimited!


  1. Certain family traditions, such as suggesting ways to make things more complicated (but better, of course), must be passed along. I am in awe of those who understand wood, and I have no idea how you see the process which you obviously do see. I trust you will show us the finished clock. You’re right about COVID, by the way; I do wonder if we’ll ever get over it completely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We tend to the strangest traditions in this family, but you’re right, we can’t ignore who we are. I will likely share the clock project if it doesn’t end up in the wood stove. As for Covid, I’m not sure it will ever be over. Apparently, we are referring to 2023 as post-Covid, but…

      I hope you’re having a nice week.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Faith 1, Dan 0. :-) I see a spectacular clock in your future! There will be books written about Covid in the future. We still wear masks ‘inside’ and still enjoy takeout. Sometimes, I do think I need a t-shirt saying ‘Mask=compromised immune systems in my family,’ but should anyone need to explain playing it more safe than sorry? Covid is rampant up here, but hardly anyone seems to be paying any attention. Our home town hospital has been posting an 8 hour wait time in the ER. Not good. Happy woodworking, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, she lives up to her family heritage very well, Judy. The good thing about being old(er) is that I don’t care what people think. I honestly can’t see how my wearing a mask should bother anyone. If they can’t understand that I might be protecting them along with me, then it’s their problem, not mine.

      I hope I can find the clock in that hunk of wood. It’s going to take some careful inspection before I start cutting, but it should be fun.

      Stay safe, and try to avoid that ER.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I felt your husband’s presence as I pawed through the antique tools. I kept thinking “I bet he has one of these” :-) The prices were on the high side, some bordering absurdly high. He had lots (bins full) of chisels which had been misused and badly sharpened. I doubt most were capable of holding an edge, but he wanted $20-30 each.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know whatever you do with that wood will come out fantastic – it always does.
    It is good to see that some people still adhere to craftmanship. Their woodwork is really quite exquisite.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love hearing about your relationships with your daughter and wife, the windy walk, the show that is recovering from covid, and the clock designing. I don’t think people like masks because it makes them nervous not to see another person’s face — it’s atavistic rather than related to the epidemic, but they don’t realize why they feel that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, Faith’s one-liner wins today! :+) 🥇

    That is really an interesting hunk of wood. I can’t see a clock, but I know you do and I’m in awe that you have that ability. Looking forward to the finished piece!

    The woodworking abilities of these craftsmen is incredible. My grandfather would have hauled both those boxes of locks home!

    I don’t think we’ll ever be truly “post Covid”. I think “learning to live with it” is as good as it’s going to get. But we’ve learned to live with a lot of things, haven’t we? We still mask up when out, and like you, are in the minority. It makes us feel safer.

    Seeing Old Glory proudly waving will never get old!

    Enjoy the rest of the week Dan, but have that umbrella handy if you have to go out tomorrow!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ginger. These days, I’ll take the comfort of a mask to help avoid the flu or a common cold. I don’t always wear one, but if I’m going to close to people in a crowd, I think it makes sense.

      I’m sure to have more descriptions and photos as the project moves along. I hope I have enough wood to work with and I hope I can get a clock movement with a long enough shaft.

      I almost bought some of the locks, but I have no use for them and it would just add to the pile of stuff Faith is trying to get me to reduce.

      The wood carvers and the wood turners (not shown) were so talented. I have carving tools, and I have a lathe, but I can’t do what they do.

      I like seeing the flag blowing straight and strong, but I realize it means I’m standing in single-digit wind chills.

      I hope you have a great slide into the weekend.


  6. Pre-Covid seems like a lost dream now while Living-with-Covid seems like the new normal. I haven’t been to any events like the one you attended since Pre-Covid times. I don’t know when I’ll get to one again, things have changed in ways unforetold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We really like this show, and it’s the only place to get a hunk of wood like this at an affordable price. Retail stores sometimes have pieces like this, but for 3x to 5x the amount. We were careful, which is how I guess we will always be going forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Dan – looks like fun … especially coming home with that disease-bent bit of wood – great interaction between the two of you … with lots of hyphenating going on, better than *****s I guess?! Covid has changed our world … that’s for sure – life is in a lot of ways very different. Cheers and so pleased you had a good day out with Faith – great to see the photos too … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. We did have a great time, and we will enjoy the projects. Faith has been collecting some pieces of spalted maple. Sooner or later, she’s going to need to figure out what to make with them.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. There was never any doubt in my mind that you would go with the more complicated clock. What would life be like without challenges? I am so looking forward to the result. I love wood!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That is a great chunk of wood, Dan, and seeing you planning it all out…times a-tickin’. I think it will be a beauty.
    Out local hospital/facilities have mask mandates back again. My husband has very bad emphysema, so he struggles trying to breath with a mask on, but he knows it would be even worse if he was to get Covid. He doesn’t go anywhere it he can help it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You know I always enjoy your post-outing stories. I loved Faith’s comeback but most of all I loved seeing your appreciation for it. Kinda makes me miss my dad. I look forward to seeing the clock.

    Pre-Covid does feel a bit like a dream. My granddaughter remembers no other world and that is sad.

    One last comment. Don’t they say “Buy the lock and the project will come”? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Now I’m mad at myself for not buying a lock. The guy is there every year. I have to cut back on the things I buy and put on a shelf, especially when I’m with Faith, since she will eventually have to clean those shelves.

      I am sad for your granddaughter. Living with covid is her reality, and that’s not fair in so many ways.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Perhaps it is best to spend the next year coming up with the perfect project before you buy it.

        The funny thing about my granddaughter is it all seems normal to her and to us, that is very sad. She doesn’t know any different.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you know by now that I will have a D-I-Y post about building that clock (if it doesn’t end up in the wood stove). When you know how to do the work, and what can be done to a piece of wood, it’s not too hard to see the things that it can become.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well Dan ….. I really don’t think you have grasped the concept of a One Liner Wednesday ?!
    That said I enjoyed reading about the show and the banter between you and Fay.
    I see a horse emerging from that piece of wood you are holding in the top photo.
    Those clock mechanisms and hand I recognise as my hubby masked clocks out of empty beer can .. specialist beers with interesting motifs on them.
    The photos as ever are great 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Being a fan of twisted trees and gnarly wood I really should not say this. But you know somebody will. So wait you really paid good money for rotten wood ? Seriously I do hope you have fun with your clock project. And considering some of the other strange posts today this one just might get the nearly normal award. Happy Wednesday Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – thanks John. I paid $30 for the piece. Not a lot really. Someone did have to drag it out of the woods and clean it up. The prices at this show are very reasonable. As for being a nearly normal post – wow!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, Dan. What a cool event. I love that piece of wood. I’m eager to see which direction you go with the clock. As for better ideas, I can’t even slice a potato without commentary which is why I do most of my projects when the foreman is napping. 🫢😉 Oh and I would have SO given you money to buy me a lock. Antique locks and keys are one of my obsessions. That looked like a sweet collection too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sounds like a great day, Dan, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing how the clock turns out. Some interesting carvings there! We have a good friend back in Illinois who’s an amazing wood-worker (not his “real” job). I had him make puzzle boxes for both our girls for Christmas and they were great. I have one as well. He can do amazing things and it’s always fun to see what he’s up to. Same with you. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts or join the discussion. One relevant link is OK, more require moderation. Markdown is supported.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.