Christmas was fun this year. Lots of fun times gathering with family! Lots of good food! Watching the season through my kids eyes! It was great. It was also really good for the organ nut that I am! Between gifts, things I’ve found, and things I’ve done, the last few weeks have been interesting.

My wife spoiled me this Christmas with a new recording, recently released, of the organ works of Belgian composer Joseph Callaerts, as well as the final volume in organ works by Gustav Merkel. My brother got me a recording of another Belgian composer, organ works by Guy Weitz. Lots of music to listen too–music I have never heard before! Love it!

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A few days after Christmas I had the opportunity to go down to Lafayette, Indiana, to my brother-in-law’s house to continue work on this never-ending organ façade project! After spending the last 2-3 trips working on all the detail woodwork on the front piece, I took a break from that this time around to assist my brother-in-law in cutting out and assembling the two large side panels of the façade!

It was great to get those accomplished, and I am very pleased with how they turned out. This was also the first time I had to purchase any wood for this project. We needed 4 uprights of 93″ in length, as well as plywood for the inserts on the panels. Both panels are quite the mix of different types of wood grain patterns, with a few absolutely jaw-dropping-gorgeous pieces of quarter sawn oak in there as well.

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The flip side is, other than sanding and finishing, those panels are essentially done. So next time I go down there it is back to the grindstone with the front piece and it’s incredibly tedious and detailed woodwork. Who the heck designed this thing anyway?!?

Truth is, after all this work, my brother-in-law and I would probably have used a different method for building and assembling the front piece… But you live and learn by doing, right?

I also made a great find for my organ book collection. One organ builder highly recommended that I read Peter Williams The European Organ, and I was able to track down a copy months ago, through inter-library loans. Sadly I had to return it before I even got half way through it. But I found a descent copy on eBay that had a price tag on it that I would have been stupid to pass up on. So I bought it. Just got it in the mail. Now I just have to figure out where I left off! (Or start all over again, which might not be a bad idea.)

Then there’s the whole job-search thing… It has been almost two years since I started pursuing this dream of getting involved in organ building and it feels like I have gotten nowhere. In spite of many builders encouraging me to “not give up” and “be persistent,” I really found myself giving up.

For over a month I had new letters and an updated resumé waiting to be sent. Fear was stopping me. I finally got them printed, stuffed in envelopes, and stamped the weekend before last. But even the morning I mailed them out I was very reluctant to let them go.

Fear.

I had to remind myself that the whole reason I took those woodworking classes was to prove to myself (and others) that I COULD DO THIS. If I were to give up, the time and money I put into those classes, and the skills I learned, would be for nothing. I had to remind myself that I would be far more disappointed with myself if I chickened out of this now, than if I were to try and give it my all–even if nothing comes of it. I also had to remind myself to pray about it.

So the letters got sent. We’ll see what God has in store…

In the meantime, I’ve got music to listen to and enjoy, books to read and things to learn, and albums to collect! This is me, just being me.

I’m having fun.