Everyday, after his retirement, my grandfather could be found in his workshop. Friends from my youth will remember that in a corner of the shop was a sofa (for napping), television (for baseball), beer tap (for sustenance and refreshment) and a cigarette rolling machine. It was the 1950’s equivalent of a “man cave.” But much of the time, Gramps would be found at the workbench. When asked what he was “up to”, his usual reply was “just puttering.”
Of course, what he was doing was continuing to practice skills that he knew were valuable to his craft. He maintained this activity to within just a few days of his death. He was fond of telling me that there was a difference between talent and skill, talent was a gift, skill needed to be exercised.
When I’m between projects, or it’s too warm or too cold to spend entire days in the shop, I find myself “puttering.” I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.