Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grandpa Bangle's Toolbox (Yet Another Tale of Aquisition)

Seriously, I am still working on stuff. Yesterday I finished one awesome idea for my Christmas in July Stashbuster Swap family, and now I'm thinking through another, and I sewed not one, but two felt plates for the girls' play food stash, and today I've been cutting out some felted wool simple dolls, so simple that I'm conflicted about whether or not I even want to sew button eyes and bead smiles on them. I like really, really simple toys, really plain with really basic forms--as Anne would say, there's so much more scope for imagination that way. And I'm still working on plans for our California trip next week (Hello, Yosemite!) and the girls' birthday party this Saturday (Hello, margaritas both virgin and not!). But in the midst of my busy life, I completely forgot to acknowledge a terrific gift I received several weeks ago.

Matt's last grandpa, Grandpa Bangle, died around Christmastime--he was an awesome guy, just as hopeless as me at Trivial Pursuit, kept trying to escape and give me "privacy" whenever I'd start to breastfeed (I've breastfed at the Louvre, so I'm certainly not squeamish about doing it at the breakfast table), totally sweet not just in that way that all old men end up sweet when their testosterone runs out, but sweet like you knew he'd been a gentle spirit his whole life. He was a crafty guy, too--we have a set of wooden reindeer that he made for us not long after Matt and I married. Actually, um, I keep them out all the time, on account of they're cool. Grandpa was apparently also into some jewelry-making, setting stones and such, because Grandma recently sent me Grandpa's old jewelry-making toolbox.
I cannot even tell you the awesomeness of such a gift. It was a combination of getting to feel nostalgic about Grandpa, finding some truly cool and useful stuff, and poking around in somebody's old cupboard and getting to prowl through all the artifacts. Grandma sent the toolbox off without even peeping into it, so she didn't actually realize that she was committing a felony by US mail, because pretty much the entire top half of this toolbox was full of little packets and bottles and cans of really old volatile chemicals. You know, fluxes and leaded solders and acids and etches--all the good stuff. Once that had been disposed of (A good homeschooling project--How does one dispose of dangerous chemicals?) we were left with this:

The gift includes a bunch of files, a stand like the one I use to hold my pendants when I solder, a saw, a bunch of hemostats (which I have always wanted!), a bunch of needlenose pliers (including one just like the one I'd just dropped eight bucks on--darn!--but a bunch just like the ones I don't have any money for--score!), some beautiful polished stones, turquoise and quartz and some marble and I don't know what else, that Willow has taken for her collection (she pores over them constantly like Scrooge McDuck--mental note to check out some books on rock identification to get the learnin' in) and this baby, which I wish you would tell me what it is, because it looks so sweet: Glass nippers? Wire cutters? Phalange pinchers? Do tell.

We also found this in the toolbox, which Willow has also spent many days walking around holding up to her eye:

She says, "Mama, it's magic! It makes things look bigger!" Freakin' magic show.

The best part of the gift, though, was folded up in the very bottom of the toolbox. Look, it's Grandpa's apron:

And now Matt wears it when he putters around the house, too. Thanks, Grandma Bangle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would call that tool "wire nippers" - they are also good for removing frets on guitars