One of my dad's retirement hobbies has become making fishing lures. While I was home, he showed me the lure-making studio he'd arranged in his basement den, and it was an impressive little set-up: An easel with clamps at his desk to hold the lures in-place while he paints them, cabinets to store the eyes, loops, and hooks; a special lamp to make seeing the detailed work easier on his eyes. While I was wrapping presents in the dining room one afternoon, Dad appeared with the whittled wooden fish pictured above in one hand and said I could have this prototype--as an ornament or good luck charm. I will be keeping it out year-round, of course. ♥
Knowing of his new hobby, I had brought home with me a fish-related ornament for him too (along with some paints ordered from a lure-making supply catalog and some paintbrushes as part of his actual gift), although my fish was one I'd made from a sawed-off wooden spoon end. He added it to his and Mom's Christmas tree right away, just as I did with mine from him as soon as I returned here. :)
He also showed me his first finished lure. "The painting's a little messy," he said modestly. "This is just the first one, and I hurried to finish it so you could see one while you're still home. . . ." I am most-impressed. I told him that and also told him that it's so neat to me that he's learned how to make these. "Just think: A few months ago, you didn't know how to do this, and now look--You've made your own fishing lures! That's so cool!" He laughed and said, "Well, I learned from a book--I didn't just suddenly know how to make them." That's just it, though, I went on: He wanted to learn how to make fishing lures, so he set off to learn, he ordered a book and supplies, he spent hours at his desk whittling wooden dowels and attaching parts and painting--compare my prototype ornament to the first finished one!--and now, he can say that this is something he knows how to do. The entire process has fascinated me. Dad listened, laughed his modest Dad-laugh again, mumbled something about it not being that hard, held up the lure so I could take a picture after I asked, and returned to his basement studio to make some more.