Cambrian: Opinion

Hardware helps with nuts and bolts for creativity

“My car right now is like the closet in Fibber McGee and Molly: Open it and you never know what may fall out on you!”
“My car right now is like the closet in Fibber McGee and Molly: Open it and you never know what may fall out on you!” Special to The Cambrian

My favorite way to relax in my house is lying on my back on the floor in front of the heater, feet up the wall, warming and stretching out my spine.

Who would think one could nap that way, yet I just woke up from a five-minute session. My hair is a bit matted, my skin has a definite dusty pallor, I stink and am a bit weary. Ah, the fun of working at Renaissance Faire all weekend.

My car right now is like the closet in “Fibber McGee and Molly.” Open it and you never know what may fall out on you! I have a Matterhorn-sized pile of laundry, and my art studio is in shambles. It is all staying like that until I write this piece. I’m sure my upcoming shower will be a religious experience. My trusty “Yota” will enjoy one soon, too.

While I certainly don’t make nearly as much money on sales as I spend on preparing for such a festival, crafting to my heart’s content and the satisfying challenge of building a sturdy and inviting booth are well worth it to me. I don’t fly airplanes or buy lots of clothes and shoes or restore old cars. This is the hobby that makes me happy, and that I don’t mind “investing” in.

But what I really need to do is give recognition to some folks in town who support my habit, who have an incredible amount of patience and knowledge and helpful imaginations: our very own Cambria Hardware.

Seriously, they have been so wonderful to me, hearing out all my whims and questions, even when I had no clue how to explain or draw what I was looking for.

The right wood or bracket or tool can make all the difference in the world in my projects. I guess that’s true of anyone’s project but — I’m special. OK, I’m just punch drunk and making myself laugh here. Fatigue is an interesting drug — but, they have made my life so much easier.

There was a time at an earlier fair this year that I was in so often and took up so much of their time, I think they hid the next time I came in. Don’t blame them. If they didn’t have what I needed, they made other suggestions, other ways to look at what I was trying to achieve.

Bamboo is strong and inexpensive; try drilling holes in the dowels and using these, this weight, that size, etc. Thank you.

I love our small town. I love shopping here. I love that people know your name, are willing to help and are just so fun to be around.

There is certainly something about hardware stores that brings people together — the creative, problem-solving juices flow, people helping people, sharing the potential for getting greasy and dirty and sticky, with a little sense of humor thrown in. What’s not to like about going in there! (Well, other than having to crawl around and do the actual job.)

But having the support of such neat folks like those at Cambria Hardware makes it a little less daunting!

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at, or visit her website at