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Working with hobbies

By Clif Knight 

One of my younger brothers spent the better part of his life building houses. He and his co-workers were good at it, too. I admired his skill and thought carpentry was something I’d like to do for a living – until I came up short in vo-ag shop as a high school sophomore.  

The bookcase I made for my mom looked OK but tilted 1/4 inch to the right when placed on the floor of her living room. Two of the shelves were sawed 1/8-inch short of the plan and had to be caulked to fit.   

My English teacher liked my work in her classes and suggested I consider newspaper writing as a career path. I took her advice and devoted nearly half of a century to anything and everything that went into the production of print journalism.  

Although I officially ended my career five years ago, I still have readers ask me if I still work for the Hartselle EnquirerI tell them yes and no. I write articles on request, and I’m paid by the story. 

It didn’t take long after retirement for my wife Geanell, a hobbyist herself, to suggest that I needed a hobby.  

I was already an avid reader, and Geanell agreed I could continue to keep my head in a book as long as the following were true: the weather did not permit me to work outside and discounted prices on paperbacks and used hardbacks – available at yard sales, used variety stores and discount bookstores – could keep me well supplied.  

Warm weather days are reserved for taking on honey-do jobs around the house, cutting and trimming grass, maintaining shrubbery and planting and maintaining flower beds in the yard.  

Gardening is another hobby occupying a large part of my timeweather permitting, in spring, summer and fall months. I am growing vegetables in a 1-acre tract, with emphasis on tomatoes, potatoes, squash and green beans.  

The object is to harvest fresh vegetables for home use as well as to freeze and store in the home freezer. I market the surplus at the Hartselle Farmers Market in June, July and August.