I enjoy the art of building. I remember as a child helping my dad in the basement shop put this or that together. Together, we built a backyard barn/shed and a lake cabin (although the together was more him than me). Today, I am the builder. This past summer, I had the pleasure of building a backyard 8 x 12 garden cottage. I find great satisfaction from each part of the venture – beginning with the drawing, moving through the site preparation, framing the building, siding, and all the finish work. Each step is a creative act. The building I initially drew never materialized, rather it changed as it went up – in the end a much Improved design – one that fits well into the setting. Our backyard shed/garden cottage is nothing more than a shed inside. We put a great deal of care into the outside. As it would greet us every morning from the kitchen window, the exterior had to speak charm. We settled on a north woods theme. It carries a 45 degree pitched roof, a front porch, cedar siding, and custom designed entry door. With the candle light in the window and Christmas wreath on the door, our desire for charm was met. It feels good to step back and look at the finished product and smile with the satisfaction of a job well done.
I think every teacher ought to have another creative outlet. It serves to keep healthy. Teaching is an investment in our future. We sow seeds for a later harvest. We nurture growth and well being. We can end the day with satisfaction, but seldom do we end with the job done and able to look upon a finished product. That is part of what I like about building. It is creative, as is teaching, but at the end of the day, I can touch and smell the finished product – and seldom does the building talk back to me.