Imagine you are a vaguely middle-aged man who has spent decades at woodworking, honing your skills and acquiring the mountainous supplies and tools requisite to follow your passion.  Actually, given the likely nature of the readers of this blog, you do not have to imagine this scenario very hard.  It is what you live.

Then imagine you have managed to find a niche for your woodworking and built a nice business from it, enough to support your family.  For a few of us I suppose this is not too far-fetched, for the rest of us it is a stretch.

Now comes a little more challenging imagining: imagine you leave your shop and home one day, and it disappears into smoke.  Literally.  What would you do?  The business assets, at least the physical ones, have turned to ash.  Your home is gone.  And worst of all you are not the only ones as tens of thousands of your neighbors have suffered exactly the same fate as you.

If you can envision such a scenario you have an inkling of the challenges still facing Rob and Kristy Hanson of Evenfall Studios.  Rob has chronicled the catastrophe they suffered and many of you have ponied up some financial support for them.  I know they are immensely grateful for the help.  Though Rob and I never met in person we have been internet pen-pals for quite some time, and I have maintained an ongoing correspondence with him over the past several months.

Paradise CA. Photo courtesy ABC News.

The struggles they continue to face trying to make this particular Phoenix arise from these particular ashes is daily and daunting.  Let us continue to help a fellow woodworker trying to rebuild his life.

There are a couple things you can do.

First, once again donate as generously as you can with contributions via their web page.  Just because this story is long gone from the news — hey there are POTUS’ tweets to get hysterical about, and Mordor nitwittery to make us clutch our pearls! — the consequence of the wildfire is still immediate and ongoing for the Hansons. With the scale of the destruction encompassing the entire region, recovery is unspeakably problematic.

Second, through my lengthy correspondence with Rob I finally persuaded him to send me a list of tools he needs to get back on his feet.  I printed it out and keep it on one of my classroom workbenches as I mosey around the joint, poking in boxes and corners looking for stuff he needs.  This week my daughter and son-in-law, visiting from North Korea, er, Northern California, will assist me in assembling some “care” packages of useable tools to get Rob up and running that will be sent as soon as the boxes are ready to go.  This gesture serves me in many way.  First and foremost it helps me clear the inventory of surplus tools I have accumulated over the years.  I’m betting that many of you have the same affliction, and could use this cure.  Of greater importance this allows me to exercise my Christian Charity, and as a Follower of The Way I am commanded to do this.

If you are so led for whatever motivation, contact Rob and inquire as to what surplus tools you have that he might need.  Sometimes it really is little things, tools that you (and he) cannot even recall because they are so common.  I’m including some spring clamps and utility knives along with my more purposeful woodworking tools, and I bet you can too.

Third, if you are anywhere close to driving distance from Rob I know that he needs a portable-ish workbench on which to work.  A 500-pound Roubo is probably not appropriate, they are in tight quarters at Kristy’s parents after all, but check to see if you have something that might fit the bill for him working in the garage, carport, or even out in the yard.  I have plenty in this regard but it makes little sense for me to ship a full-sized workbench from one remote area near the East Coast to another remote area near the West Coast.

In surviving and prevailing through this epoch with fortitude and resilience we know what Rob and Kristy are made of.

Now it is time to show them what we are made of.