Monday Morning Coffee | Feb 2, 2009


"Houses reveal character."

~ Gilbert Highet


A story, written by an unknown author goes like this:

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife and family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is YOUR house - my gift to you," he said.

Life is no different. Each of us is given lumber, a hammer, some nails, and a saw - but no instructions or blueprint for our lives. If we ignore a bent nail here, a split board there, and a wall out of plumb, we may find ourselves living in a ramshackle cabin where a beautiful home might have stood. Then we step back for a good look and recognize that we were the carpenter in charge.

Build your home with pride. Use the right tools. Get the education you need. Learn from a master. Take no shortcuts. Finish it with your finest touch. Remember - the plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project."

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