View Full Version : Where to begin?

G.A. Ewen
01-11-2009, 12:00 AM
It has been about three years since I did any serious shop work. Little projects here and there when I could find the time and energy were my only creative outlets.

Circumstances have changed since my wife (of 21 years) lost her battle with cancer. Time is no longer an issue but I think that it will be a while until I can muster up any ambition.

There are so many projects that I had planned in the past that I don't know where to begin, a copying router, a band saw mill, a portable boring machine, a set of Allens oars, a disappearing propeller drive for my boat,,,,,,,,, the list goes on and on.

The shop will get a good cleaning and reorganization first and then I'll have to make a choice and just get busy.

Hopefully I will be able to contribute something of value here as well.

01-11-2009, 12:15 AM
Sorry about the lost of your wife. The best thing you can do for your self is to get active doing something, anything. Working in your shop, helping out at church, volunteering anything to get your mind off what has just happened. With time much of the pain will go away. Gary P. Hansen

01-11-2009, 12:16 AM
Ah geezuz George...You'll be ok. I'm betting once you get rollin...the lord will only know what you'll come up with.
Sounds like you have a bunch of pretty ambitious projects in the future...was me..I'd let them sit a bit and do a few simple shop aids...sorta like the DTI holder gadget I just built.
It was fun to just say to heck wit it and play around making something I've wanted for awhile. It started out I'd make one small part every night after work. Once it got going...I couldn't stay away from the stupid thing.
Since I started this business full time it's hard to get motivated to do things like that.
At the end of the day..the last thing I want to do is make more chips.
But this was almost like a hobby thing again...just a lot of fun.
Take care George!

01-11-2009, 12:18 AM
Last november my brother sold his machine shop to my brother in law he got a good price. He went fishing, hunting . He even flew into canada and went moose hunting and got a moose. he had it made.

A month ago they found him dead on the floor, heart attack.

My point is dont wait, we only get so much time and you just dont know how long that is.

01-11-2009, 12:21 AM
The loss of someone so close, especially a spouse is devastating to ones life, it can and will progress to consume your every moment, if you let it, doubtful she would want that for you, the place for you to start is to simply start !

Pick one of your favorite "want to's" and start.


Mike Burdick
01-11-2009, 12:23 AM

Losing your wife of 21 years is very tough... I wish you well! I've been married for 36 years now I could not imagine what it would be like without my wife.

I've always enjoyed your posts and the work you do... they are always inspirational. I'll be looking forward to your new contributions on this forum and your future articles in HMS as well!

Take care....

01-11-2009, 12:36 AM
I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's not something you will necessarily get over or forget, but you will learn to live with it. In fact, you must learn to live with it. Onward, through it all .

01-11-2009, 12:46 AM
Sorry to hear it George,don't stop though,now is not the time to idle back.Grab a lower gear and throttle up!

01-11-2009, 12:47 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss. My dad is now going through what you are right now.
I remove my mind from it and occupy myself with activities. Think of all the bad things in the past and I don't feel as sad. Yeh thats pretty freaking morbid of me, but oh well, you must do what you must do. Life goes on. Either you go on with it or you don't.

Tim Clarke
01-11-2009, 12:50 AM
I'm really sorry to hear of your loss.

My mom's time is short, she's past her latest crisis, but before too long, her kidney failure will prove fatal. I've been trying to get her the best care available, and haven't been able to concentrate on any ambitious projects. My shop has been a way to pass time while I waited for things to happen. Today, I built a BXA toolholder, with a 5c collett bore. I suggest similar projects, that is the short term kind. Muck the place out. Do some little things you've been putting off. You'll feel better, even if it's only for a short time. And by all means, take good care of yourself.

Regards, TC

01-11-2009, 01:03 AM
Sorry for your loss.

I have not been through that yet, have lost both parents but that was never a good thing for me anyway. We had bad history and I did not hurt so bad.

After being with someone as long as you guys were together shows there was a real bond. Losing that person and that bond is tough. As many here said, staying busy will be real important. Do not try to forget it as part of healing and coping is learning to adjust. Honor her with memories. Hopefully you have friends or relatives close by that can be there for you.

Good luck with all you do.


John Stevenson
01-11-2009, 04:53 AM
Really nice to see you back, sorry about your loss and that's all I'll say at this point other than thank you for many of the idea's and inspirations you have come up with in the past.

You have always been high on my list of respected member on this forum.


01-11-2009, 09:50 AM
George, sorry for your loss. But it does sound as though your on the right track. I cant imagine the change that you are facing but you have already mentioned what I have heard others tell me of loss; that is, keep moving, keep busy and find projects.

All the luck and best wishes in the world to you sir.


01-11-2009, 10:11 AM
George, Sorry for your loss.

Pick something simple and go with it, the bigger stuff will follow along naturally.

Take care of yourself, you are one of the best folks here willing to share your knowledge and experience with us all.

Keep up the keep.


01-11-2009, 11:07 AM
Sorry for your loss.
I am one of those readers of this forum who has lots of ideas but not enough time or motivation to get things done. Your work and willingness to share your experiences motives me. I look forward to more of your postings. Take care !

01-11-2009, 12:30 PM

Got a grandchild or nephew or niece or any motivated young person who has shown an interest in your shop or in making things generally that you could mentor? Nothing like the vitality of youth to kickstart the potential doldrums of advancing age.

Paint your shop white and increase the lighting.

David Merrill

01-11-2009, 12:36 PM
George, I'm sorry to hear this.


Uncle O
01-11-2009, 12:50 PM
She is still there with you, and you with her............Look inside.

G.A. Ewen
01-11-2009, 06:04 PM
Thanks for the kind thoughts and words of encouragement fellows.

01-11-2009, 06:27 PM
A fellow member in our model club lost his wife to the big C just over a year ago. Had only one month's notice. As you can imagine, it hit him pretty hard.

During many a discussion afterwards I found out that he had started building a steam traction engine so I suggested he get to work on it big time and name it after her. It really seemed to help as he has shown the progress at many a meeting since.

So, I recommend, as others have said, to get into something big time (especially during these winter months, as February can be cruel) so you can show it to us and other interested folks.

Progress reports are a definite requirement of course. I always learn something new from you and really appreciate your posts.



01-11-2009, 08:27 PM
sorry to hear that George, I think you've already figured out what to do, just force yourself to stay busy with it.

01-11-2009, 08:40 PM
George, I'm really sorry for your loss. My Wife just had a near-miss with cancer including an involved surgical biopsy that strung us out through the Christmas holidays. It sure puts your priorities in perspective.

I think Geoff has the right idea -- get involved in a big, complicated project.

01-11-2009, 08:41 PM
Your posts are always interesting. I hope you get a spark of idea and it builds into an enjoyable project. Thanks for all your input here.

I hope you can get into a routine that keeps you from thinking about your loss all the time. Hope that 2009 is a better year for you.

Spin Doctor
01-11-2009, 08:59 PM
George, it saddens me to hear this news about your wife. Four years ago my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer that had already spread to the brain and other places. From the time she was diagnosed to the day she passed away was less than two months. To say I and the childern were devestated is an understatement. But I found I could not allow my grief overwhelm me. I found somehow the courage to live life as fully as I could. And that is I think the best way to honor those we love who are gone.

01-11-2009, 10:11 PM

Sorry for you loss,

Like the others i am looking forward to seeing some of your work. It was always top notch and interesting.

Happy to see you back, keep in touch

Rob :)