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The Hawk's Nest

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A Craftsman Christmas table

Our new home still isn’t done and we’re living in temporary quarters with the holidays nearly here. Now the shop we are living in must be turned into a Christmas shop for living in.

    We started by finding a place for the small (everything is small in here) tree. By centering it on the joiner planer we had room for a Yule log on one end and a Menorah on the other.

    The baking that goes with the season has been a bit of a challenge. We have no oven. Cooking is done with a camp stove, toaster oven and microwave. At three cookies per batch, in the toaster oven, we needed to start in early fall to get done.

    As you might guess, we are now looking for cookies that were stored some time ago. We find them on the back of lumber racks or behind the shopvac and under the drill press.  I think we’ll find them all before, maybe, Easter.

    Most of our stuff is stored in sheds and under tarps around the place. So the normal, day-to-day household tools are not handy. The tools for construction, however, which are used daily, are front and center. So to say we are highly organized in this living arraignment would be a gross exaggeration - and since it is Christmas I can’t quite make a claim like that.

    The handle on the drill press, by the way, is a great place to hang Christmas stockings. The deck for the press holds the manger scene, with the star attached to the motor housing and angels hanging from the bit and chuck. The wise men, their entourage and camels are coming from the east across a desert of sawdust.

    What to do with the electric train took a little thought. By moving the cans of stuff on a shelf around a little we were able to run the miniature Great Northern around, under and over old paint, glue etc., then out through the band saw and back onto the storage shelf.

    This turned out to be the obvious place for the village as well. We put City Hall on a can of super-penetrating stain, with the church on a box of Fix-All. The courthouse sets on a container of Stop-Leak and the newspaper office is next to stain remover. The livery is off to the side on a bag of fertilizer and the hardware store is behind a jar of nails. The fire station is near a box of soda next to a stack of light bulbs that make a foundation for the school. The Vaudeville Theater is situated on a jar labeled 'mixed nuts' that holds who knows what.

    The top of the florescent shop light makes a perfect surface for Santa with his sleigh and reindeer. The top of a toolbox is our display of international St. Nicks.

    As mentioned, we are having trouble finding many utensils for the kitchen so we may end up using a paint stirrer and drill for a mixer and a gasket scraper for a spatula. I know this works from my old years as a bachelor, but there isn’t 100% consensus on this with all two of us. The search for the electric carving knife seemed to accelerate when I said we could just use the Sawzall. I bet it would make quick work of a turkey.

    But how are we going to cook a turkey? Can we get one to fit in a toaster oven? I bet someone will spend a few hours outside in the weather feeding a barbeque and roasting a bird. Oh well, the right clothes and some hot-spiced wine could make that another fun holiday adventure.

    However things work out I’m looking forward to setting down with family and friends to a lovely meal at a well appointed holiday table-saw.

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

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