Appreciation of artistry, talent and trade
Four years ago, my husband and I finally decided to remove the carpeting in
three of our bedrooms, due to my sudden onslaught of air-born allergies.
Many weeks of preparation were needed to move everything out of these
three rooms into our living-dining room areas. Stacks of cartons and
furniture were piled into the center of those rooms and covered with huge
tarps. Next, three "tile men" literally moved into our home for a week.
Of course, having workers in your home means (to me, any way) that I am
their host. So, I always made sure that they had water to drink. By the second
and third days, they were also having cookies, a taste of my meat sauce and
even some of my chicken soup. That's what I was providing them.
They were providing us with tales of their artistry and a little of their ancestry.
All of the tile men came from Portugal. Their parents, uncles, and brothers all
knew how to lay tile. In their country, their families also knew how to make
tiles. We enjoyed hearing their stories about their family pride of their trade.
For the past three weeks, my husband and I observed the artistry of a
young man from Argentina who was an excellent cabinet-maker and carpenter.
He spoke to us about his extended family (8 brothers and brothers-in-law)
who all built furniture back in Argentina and here in the U.S. He emphasized
his thankfulness for being in America, where he could use his skills.
After our kitchen cabinets were completed, the two men who installed our
granite were from Colombia. They, too, were proud of their trades and were
happy to tell us about their family's history of working with stone.
All of these experiences makes me think about young Americans who are
so busy looking for careers in marketing, computers, human resources, etc.
Of course, we will always need doctors, lawyers and shopkeepers, but we
also need artisans.