an unexpected twist

My older daughter always said she’d never work with my husband. She didn’t want to do carpentry. She didn’t want to work with him. She just didn’t want, period. And then she returned from two years in Massachusetts and decided to work with him part-time, just for a few months to earn some money.*

And you know what?

She loves it. 

I mean, not loves it, loves it, but she enjoys it enough to step in and say I wanna learn to do that. To tell my husband to bugger-off when he meddles or hovers. To subscribe to Instagramming female electricians. To work independently for hours at a time. And to carry on, all by herself, when my husband throws out his back. 

stopping in to inspect the wall she parged
(electrical tape on her fingers to cover concrete burns)

She’s making good money, and gaining a whole heck of a lot of skills to boot. My husband is thoroughly enjoying working with her. He had about five years of working with our older son, and then when our son switched over to nursing, he missed him something fierce, but now he’s getting to work with her. 

He marvels at how he explains things once then she gets it. At how steady and focused she is. She has a long way to go, of course — she’s still new at it — but that she’s owning the experience and not just tolerating it makes it fun, for both of them.

That none of us anticipated this development makes it all the more special. 


*She also washes dishes for Magpie one day a week, as well as does some riding for a few horses, farm/house sitting, sewing, and other random jobs.

This same time, years previous: summer evenings, physical therapy, the quotidian (8.17.20), a bloody tale, a little house tour, bourbon and brown sugar peach pie, in progress, the quotidian (8.18.14), from market to table, garlicky spaghetti sauce, drilling for sauce.


  • Thrift at Home

    I love this! She looks like a boss in these photos. I remember someone’s TED talk about how there need to be more women in the trades and how she had started a company to train and empower women for these jobs.

  • SDB

    When you wrote earlier about your older daughter liking to sew and not knowing where that came from, I immediately thought about the similarities between sewing and carpentry. There’s a lot of skill overlap there. I’m thinking she got it from your husband, perhaps.

  • Lindsay

    If she finds herself in need of workwear I highly recommend Dovetail; they make workwear for women in all sorts of trades. I have 4 pairs of their overalls and adore them. (They also have sales reasonably often.)

  • Becky R.

    Fabulous decision! I often wish it had been acceptable for me to take shop in high school. I have learned to do a lot of things on my own, but I think it behooves all women to learn how to be as self-sufficient as possible. She will use these skills throughout her life.

  • Marie

    When my husband was offered a lateral transfer (at work) to an electrician’s apprentice, he scoffed yet took on the challenge. Just a few years later, when he achieved his journeyman’s license, he was quite proud of his acknowledgement! The independence, varied working conditions and ability to meet people from all walks of life always fueled his enthusiasm each year! They also offer membership to their union that has supported our medical/dental needs for years at 1/3 the cost of my union coverage.

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