Editor's Note: The following is the first article in a
series of three. Look for the second instalment in an upcoming
Master woodworker Toshio Odate, shown carving Patricia's
Several years ago, my cousin-in-law Patricia (Pat) moved
into a new house. She was satisfied and enjoyed living in
it; however, one day Pat said, sighing, "I do not miss
the old house but I very much miss the display cabinet."
In her former home, she had a little built-in display cabinet
that a friend of mine had made for her. In this house, as
the years progressed and the children grew older, some walls
were pushed out to enlarge certain rooms, others were totally
gutted to make new additions. As a result, wall shapes and
sizes were not uniform, and materials and colors were inconsistent.
The cabinet was not fancy and the wood was not too special,
but it fit right into the room. The interior of the new house,
on the other hand, was well designed and the ceilings, walls,
and floors were clean and well finished.
I had intended to make something small for the new house
as a gift, but, like many other people, I could not find the
time. When I met my friend who had made the little cabinet,
the conversation came around to Pat and her husband Howie
and their new house. Naturally, I mentioned how much she missed
the cabinet, and immediately he said he would make one for
her as a gift for her new home. I was delighted and told Pat
about the good news. She was, of course, very happy.