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Dealing with a very rough hand with courage and a sense of humor.

Spring flower

I often wonder how my life would turn if my body met some fate where I could no longer work with my hands. Aging has reduced my ability to see and hear, and, while I’m certainly not infirm, no longer have the strength of hand and limb I once did. But my dexterity remains strong and the confidence that I have when I pick up a board and present the tool to it, or it to the machine, has actually increased: the aging process has taught me to be wiser and think more ergonomically. Take that away from me and life would seem unimaginable.

A few mornings ago I received this e-mail:

“My name is Bruce Smith. I was an avid woodworker until being diagnosed with ALS April, 18 2013. I spend a lot of time on my computer now, watching youtube videos of woodworking. I came across a demo of your Super Chute 2 while researching shooting board builds for my son. He has decided to take up my tools and my hobby. I will be saving my pennies to purchase a Super Chute 2.0 for him. Awesome quality and awesome tool!”

In subsequent correspondence I have learned that Bruce uses eye gaze technology to type on his computer. He is a quadriplegic and cannot move anything except his eyes and head “a little bit.”

“I am an extremely lucky man

I won’t get into all the reasons right now

My life is awesome

That may be hard to fathom

Especially if you know me and where my life has taken me

What I would like to ask is that if you have the ability,

Contact your local ALS group and see if there is someone you can help out.

That would be AWESOME!


Awesome ain’t easy… but it ain’t impossible either.” – “Be Awesome” from Bruce’s

joyful and truly awesome blog (click here) filled with bits of humor, wisdom, and gratitude for family, friends, and the incredible technology that has recently allowed him to do so many things, like talk on the phone to his best friend for the first time in a long while.

I will be guided by Bruce the next time my thoughts drift into the “what if” realm.

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