Moving into a new community can be overwhelming, but one way to meet people is to follow your interests. Gene Cliver and Sam Kline are two men who are interested in building and making things with their hands, so they started spending time in the woodshop. Gene was in the construction business so it felt natural to him to check out the woodshop. He enjoys it so much that he is there three times a week. Sam is there when he can be, as he spends lots of time volunteering at his church, at Share and Care, and working with young people.
And what are they doing in the woodshop? First of all, they are meeting other residents. Sam has built many things as gifts, like bowls, pens, and even a table. Gene is building a business…out of building wooden birdhouses!
Gene noticed several different varieties of birds living around The Lutheran Community at Telford. He thought it would be nice to build them some homes; maybe that’s because Gene spent his working life building houses. He decided to design a birdhouse that was economical to make and had a cleanout so it could be reused each year. He got to work, and figured out a way to make a latch rather than purchase one. He used nails rather than hinges to cut down on expenses. He felt satisfied when he finally had a design plan that met his standards. And then he got to work building birdhouses.
A funny story about Gene. He’s been building things since he was young, and he learned as a young man that it’s important to plan ahead. This lesson was burned into his mind forever when he built a boat in his basement. He was excited to get it outside, but it wouldn’t fit! He had to remove the stairs to get the boat out of the house!
But back to the birdhouse story. Gene soon realized he needed help getting the birdhouses painted. He liked the idea of recruiting other residents to get involved with the project, so he asked Doris and Russ Fischer. Doris and Russ are pleased to assist Gene, and their careful and conscientious work has helped sell over 50 birdhouses with posts this year alone!
All of these folks feel a sense of accomplishment with their birdhouse project; Gene smiles when one is sold.
I’ll end with two thought -provoking questions from Sam Kline: “What are you doing with your life that is going to last? What did you leave that is going to count?”