This is the time of every year when a lot of carpenters’ businesses start to slow down, and so we may have a little more time for some things around our own houses, like getting the leaves raked up out of the yard. Whatever I’m doing, though, I usually start to reflect on the past year’s business with the different jobs that I was blessed with doing. There’s usually one job from the year that stands out from the rest for different reasons. Sometimes a job stands out because I might wind up making more money than I expected because I was given more work before finishing the job. That’s always a pleasure. For most people who hire me, I will wind up doing all of their carpentry work over the following years. Other jobs may stand out because it involved my specialty. For me, that would be trim and finish work. I really do enjoy good joinery work. It can sometimes be tedious ,challenging, and time consuming but I don’t mind it a bit, and the smile that it brings to a person’s face is worth so much, and is probably one of the biggest reasons that I love being a carpenter. Taking the time that is required to do a job properly is always worth it, and I’ve never worked for anybody who disagreed with that. This year, though, the one job that has stood out for me was due to the level of challenge involved. Heck, half of the job didn’t even involve carpentry, and it was something I’d never done before. The most enticing part of it for me, the part that hooked me was that Tim, the homeowner, had been looking for somebody for almost a year, and everybody who showed up to look at the job didn’t want anything to do with it. Too afraid to handle it? Step aside! I got this! What Tim had was some thing called an attic lift, and it’s exactly that. It’s just a platform with steel cables at the corners that are attached to a steel frame with a motor in the attic above. I’d never seen nor heard of such a thing until then. You just frame a hole in the ceiling to specifications, then haul the frame and motor assembly up into the attic, and put it all together there. The toughest part of the whole job was figuring out how to get the machine into the attic by myself, because it was pretty heavy and bulky. So, I just started unbolting parts until I had pieces that I could more easily manage. When I’d finished the project, I called Tim out to the garage to demonstrate how to operate the lift. When he finally got to see that thing operate, he had a smile on his face you couldn’t smack off of him! You see, Tim and his wife had a lot of items stored on their garage floor that they wanted to store in that attic, but the items were really too big to be carrying up a typical attic access stair, and they were each physically limited with what they could do. So for them, that lift was access to a whole other room of space that they really did need. For me, being a carpenter is not always about getting the jobs that will turn out an heirloom piece of furniture. Sometimes it’s about offering up my skill to help somebody who needs it because they can’t do for themselves. It’s about serving the needs of another and I was happy to have been chosen to do it, and that is one of the many things that I am so thankful for this year.