My favorite motto is "Work Hard, Play Harder."

by Hank
(West Virginia)

My friend Ross is a living, breathing example of this, and he recently used a grandfather clock to drive this point home.

Ross is a doctor in the United States Military and works for the Army. He has spent two tours of duty overseas protecting our country. He has seen horrors most of us could never dream of. As a result, he seizes the moment and appreciates what he has.

He values people more than things. As a result, time spent with his four nearly grown children are held near and dear to his heart. He has taught his children compassion as well as the value of hard work.

When he asked his children what they wanted for Christmas, one wanted furniture, one wanted home beer brewing supplies, and still another wanted him to donate a goat to heifer international in her honor, but his youngest child wanted something a little different-she requested a gift of his time and expertise.

When asked what she wanted for Christmas, the high school junior requested a clock. Easy gift, right? Not exactly. She did not want a digital clock, or any old analog clock.

She wanted an old fashioned clock, a grandfather clock. And? She wanted to build it from scratch. They ordered the clockworks kit on the internet and every day after school, she ran straight upstairs to her room and worked on putting the clock's innards together.

Finally, after a week's worth of work, the insides were ready to go. Painstakingly, father and daughter worked hour after hour measuring, cutting, sanding and gluing the wood to prepare the clock.

Student learned from teacher as she became adept at power tools and woodworking techniques.

When the body was done, they primed and stained the wood a nice deep color which brought out the grain of the wood. They then carefully fitted the plate glass into the cabinet door, and fitted the inside workings into the cabinet.

After all their blood, sweat, and tears, Ross's younger daughter finally had her clock, one that she will be able to tell her grandchildren about, and her family can pass down for generations.

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