Wednesday, November 19, 2014


When opportunity knocks,
you need to be ready to open the door and forget about being shy.
I saw an opportunity a few years ago when a large oak tree was being cut down one block away from my house. Finding a stump for one’s jewelry studio is a real coup, and I realized that after years of wanting one, this was my chance to snag my very own stump to have at my workbench…a perfect surface for my more aggressive hammering.  
It might help to clarify that it is not usually the actual ‘stump’ that makes it into metalworking studios…it’s usually a higher section of the tree that isn’t quite so behemoth as is bottom of the trunk, especially when the providing tree is a mature oak.

I got out of my car, approached one of the crew members and asked if it might be possible for me to get a section of the tree, explaining how I wanted it for metalworking. He was very nice and told me, “No problem. How tall do you want it?” I told him that a section around 3’ – 3 ½’ would be perfect. He asked where I lived, and I took off to get my handcart.

As I was opening my garage to pull out the handcart, the Bobcat skid-steer loader from the tree crew pulled in my driveway with a HUGE 3 ½ - 4’ long section of the tree. When the crew member deposited the trunk section at the end of my driveway, the ground shook. While I had no problem asking for a section of the tree, I did have a problem with complaining that this was a bit more tree than I was hoping for.

I gave my thanks and then stood there, staring at this hunk of wood that was more than I could handle. I’m no weakling, but I couldn’t budge this stump. I thought “What can I possibly do with this?”
As it turned out, there was nothing I could do with it for over two years. It sat at the end of my driveway until I finally had a few strong and industrious relatives visiting. They were able to wrangle the stump into my garage without crushing the door’s threshold, and it sits near my soldering station waiting for the mythical anvil.

Yesterday, I saw that a neighbor at the other end of my block had recent tree work done and a pile of wood sat in their front yard…..opportunity!

I knocked on their door and asked if I might be able to take a section of wood, and I now have the ‘stump’ that I originally wanted for my workbench.

I've learned that when opportunity knocks,
you need to be ready to open the door and be specific.

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