Sir Francis Bacon

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall: but in charity there is no excess; neither can angel nor man come in danger by it.

One of the facts of life I’ve come to believe true is that we as humans have the ability to take even the most innocent of pleasures and make it a bigger than life idol or obsession.

I remember first observing this phenomonon when I was in my thirties.  We had just bought a horse for our foster daughter.  Riding and caring for a horse seemed like a healthy activity for a teenager, and it was.  We had no sooner started her in lessons though, then she was asked if she would like to run for rodeo queen.  We discovered that owning a horse and taking lessons can overnight change from an affordable hobby to an expensive investment in both time and money.  It was no longer a just a hobby, it was a life-style.

A couple of decades later I encountered a similar experience when I started square dancing.  Inexpensive classes lead to more expensive clothing, special shoes, fancier petticoats and costly trips for out-of-town dances.

Recently my daughter took up crocheting and I discovered that what was at one time a relatively inexpensive past time has now become a very dear endeavor.

2013-08-03 15.45.59All this brings me to the topic of this post: my husband, Chuck Bryant’s woodturning hobby.  Now, as hobbies go, woodturning is not terribly extravagant when compared to his many other options.  He could easily spend far more if he golfed a couple times a week or needed a fancy boat to go fishing.  So I don’t begrudge him his investment in lathes, tools and materials.  However, when he first started out, I was perplexed about what we were going to do with all of the beautiful pens he was creating.  I really didn’t have any desire to run a retail business during our retirement.

Chuck came up with a solution; give them away.  That’s what he did.  He gives them to family and friends, sometimes for a special occasion (like a graduation) and sometimes just because he loves to see the look of joy they bring.  He’s like that.  He likes it when he can make people smile.

DCIM100SPORTThis may be why he loves working with Volunteers Without Limits.  Twice a month (when we are in town) he drives the delivery truck around San Felipe and delivers ‘dispensa’ and water to the homes of the elderly and disabled.  Chuck’s Spanish may still be a work in progress but smiles are universal.

It seemed a natural progression to combine two of his favorite past times, making sawdust and making smiles, so Chuck has dedicated his woodturning hobby to making items he can offer as thank you gifts to people who contribute to Volunteers Without Limits.  During the season you’ll find him at the San Felipe Gift and Crafters shows telling people about the food bank and aid to families with disabled children.  Oh, and you’ll find him sharing his beautiful pens too.  Both are likely to bring a smile to your face and that will make his day.

Chuck’s creations can also be found in the boutique at the La Ventana golf course.  The proceeds from his sales there also go to Volunteers Without Limits.