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If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

Based on what we need done around our house, I should say plumber, but without a doubt carpentry would be my choice. There is art in good carpentry and I think that’s why it appeals to me most.

I’ve refinished a number of pieces of furniture and find that quite fulfilling. To bring an ugly or damaged table, rocking chair, or dresser back to life is a great feeling. Being able to build it would be even better.

In our years of home owning and redecorating/remodeling, I have learned to do lot of handyman chores, and can fill and sand drywall, paint walls and doors, and properly plant or prune a tree or shrub — even one of my husband’s beloved grape vines. I haven’t yet ventured into tiling (even mosaic) and look forward soon to putting a back splash in my kitchen soon. When our drain to the outside from the ground floor utility room and shower room was hopelessly blocked last summer, it was my idea to use the pressure washer to unclog it, and it worked wonders! I love my pressure washer! One thing I will never do again is wallpapering — I hate it, and have taken great pains to get all wallpaper out of the house, scrubbing walls until all the goo is gone (Krud Kutter workers well).

Many years ago, I did a lot a picture framing and in those days used a hand miter saw. How difficult it was to get the corners nearly perfect. (They were never exact.) Now we have an electric table saw which leads me to believe I should get back into the practice of making my own frames. Mind you, making the frames is actually easier than cutting the mats. In one house we had many years ago, I had a giant table my husband made for me where I could clamp and cut mat boards, and do the framing. Below, it had big shelves on which I could store uncut mats. Unfortunately I haven’t had that perfect set-up since.

While I’d love to make something beautiful, I don’t know what it would be — we have everything we need and anything I want would exceed my ability to make it. It takes many years to be a good carpenter, and I think I’ve waited a bit too long to learn the trade well.