Month: April 2013
Slowly but surely I am recovering from back surgery and lutherie has commenced in the form of cleaning and organizing the shop in short installments.
While cleaning out the shop I ventured into the quagmire of the closet; the dark, scary place where useful things mingle with forgotten somewhat-useful and mostly useless things from the past. Within this portal of doom lurk dead cans of finish, expired bottles of yellow glue, useless tools of questionable manufacture, parts of tools I do not own, mysterious objects that somehow made their way across time and space and into my workspace, etc.
And among these many things I found a small treasure; a box with 3 pounds of dry hide glue. This stuff is probably 3 years old and as good as the day I bought it.
And why, you might ask, do I consider this newsworthy?
Well, I also found a leaky box of very old epoxy that made an 8 inch round toxic puddle on one of the shelves. I have not used epoxy in years and I have no idea how long this oozing abomination has tainted the fine particle board shelf upon which it resides.
It is neither solid nor liquid but something in-between, something not of this world, something evil.
Hide glue does not do this! I’m adding this fact to the list of reasons I prefer hide glue.
Luckily most of the stuff I pried loose from this resinous swamp was going to get tossed anyway.
The real reason for this post?
I am avoiding going back upstairs to cleanup this awful mess!
Long story short; I’m recovering well from back surgery.
Short story slightly longer; a year ago at a festival I stepped out of the car, suddenly and unexpectedly doubled over in pain, and instantly knew life would be slightly more complicated for a while.
When I got home I visited an excellent physician who ran some tests and assured me that a relatively simple surgery would solve the problem.
I was also assured my insurance company would not cover the cost of the surgery until I spent a year trying other treatments which in my doctor’s opinion would not solve the problem.
For a year I was able to work about one-third of the time I usually work in the shop. People waiting for instruments on order were understanding and kind. Most advance orders did get completed and shipped and a few still waiting for completion are slated for the hands of equally considerate and understanding people.
In a few weeks I will be easing my way back into the dulcimer shop. I’ll be finishing up some orders, making instruments to have on hand as inventory, and finally completing a long-overdue modern rendering of an Ethiopian Begena.
During the past year my wonderful wife Cynthia drove me to quite a few festivals, workshops and other gigs during the times I could not make the drive myself.
During these trips Cynthia met friends around the Midwest she had only heard of and vice-versa.
Friends at festivals throughout the area keep asking if she will be coming to festivals in the future.
I think more people might show up at my gigs if she comes with me because they want to see her!
I understand completely.