“Another one?” he asked “What happened to the first one?”
“I don’t know what happened to the other one” I lied, “it was just hanging there, broken”.
He was the type that liked to watch you squirm so before he could ask any more questions I started talking really fast….
I ended with “will you make me another wind chime?”
“For sentimental reasons, please, make me another one”.
“FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS!!!!!!!!!” His voice boomed, his threw his head back and he let out a huge laugh.
“Did you hear that Soph?” he asked my grandma who’d come into the garage to get some canned tomatoes.
“Babe wants another wind chime… for sentimental reasons” he said it again shaking his head back and forth.
The wind chime had been a gift, a hand crafted gift from my grandfather.
He had fingers as fat as cigars, and hands as large and leathery looking as a well worn catcher’s mitt.
It was a true mystery how using only his God given tools he was able to tie all those tiny little knots in the fishing line that held the wind chime together.
It was no mystery how the pipes came to be. Walk into his garage at any moment during the chime making days and you would find him hunched over the vice that held the pipes in place, making it easier for him to cut.
He dressed for work everyday, even though he’d been retired for years. Thick navy colored button up work shirt, thick matching navy pants, and dark heavy work shoes.
The man was working. Busy tinkering in his old garage.
Big wide back, big thick arms sawing back and forth and back and forth on those pipes till the back of his shirt was damp from sweat.
A week later I got my new chime.
“Here you go Babe” my grandfather said handing me the musical decoration.
He shook it so it tinkled ” don’t let anything happen to this one” he instructed.
I hadn’t thought about my wind chime in years. It’s been living tucked in a box in my basement for as long as I can remember, being kept safe, for sentimental reasons.
This past weekend I saw my friend Joyce’s magnificent wind chime. The largest one I’d ever seen and it got me to thinking about my own.
I asked my sister Susan about the one our grandpa made for her.
“It’s gone” she explained “I had it hanging for a long time and it got old and it finally broke”.
“I loved it a lot, it had such a nice sound” she said.
“I never hung mine” I told her “But I’m going to find it and put it up. It’s been sitting in a box too long".
“I can’t believe I never hung it up”. I said, feeling a bit guilty.
If I hadn’t remembered about the wind chime I could only imagine my kids one day going through all my boxes, getting rid of my treasures. They would stumble upon my wind chime and have no idea about the work or the love that went into making it.
How hard it was to ask for a second one.
How my goofy word choice made my grandfather laugh. Years and years after the fact he used to say “why do you want it Babe? For sentimental reasons?” every time I asked him for something.
An inside joke that always made us both smile.
The kids wouldn't understand the sentimental reasons behind keeping it in a box in the basement safe from vandals. Vandals like wind and time.
One never knows when one may need to listen, even without any breeze, to the soft tinkling of a hand crafted memory her grandpa made for her.