THE HALLMARK OF A GOOD CARPENTER
My grandmother is a small, red-haired woman, with a vibrant smile and a fierce sense of propriety. She availed herself of the opportunity to visit one day. She brought a basket of food. (Most grandmothers have learned the surest way to a man's heart.)
While I took a break, she wandered the construction site and closely examined each board. She raised and lowered her glasses at several ceiling joists. She knocked on a few wall-studs to test their soundness.
As I hungrily looked over the food she had prepared, she sat down beside me and sighed. She put her hands in her lap and allowed her eyes to roam over my hard work. "Have I ever told you, Billy Joe, the mark of a good carpenter is that he doesn't leave any hammer marks?"
I know that she must have found more than a moderate number of hammer marks. The lump in my throat did not keep me from picking out a particularly attractive piece of fried chicken.
"It takes years to become a good carpenter," I pointed out.
"Eat," she ordered.
I happily obeyed. However, I know she was thinking that I had already been working on this project for over a year. One would have thought I would either be a good carpenter or done by this time.
In spite of Grandma's wisdom, I don't think it matters how many hammer marks you make or how many nails you bend over, or how long it takes to complete the project. In the end, it is the soundness of the work that is important; and anyway, all those hammer marks will disappear when you put on the drywall and the siding.