A Woman's Voice

IF I HAD A HAMMER ~ November 25, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte


If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morrrrning, I’d hammer in the eeevening……don’t you just love that song?  I hope you remember it. You might, if you were born in my era. 

One morning as I was walking with my girlfriends, we started to discuss how sentimental we’ve all become.  As we age, we’ve discovered that keepsakes actually matter more to us than they did in our youth.

One friend was explaining this fact by sharing a story with us.  She said she went through a lot of work and effort to make small quilts that she gave as presents to her children or grandchildren.  After they were used for their initial purpose and as the years went by, they were eventually used in some other constructive way.  The other way she noticed was that they ended up at the bottom of the dog kennel.  By the pained expression on her face, it seemed to me that she would prefer if her children were more sentimental. She had hoped they would cherish these homemade quilts in much the same way they were created.  

I also shared a story with my friends about my hammer. In this picture, my hammer is the first on one the left. Years ago when I was a preschooler and many years after that, I used to work in the garage with my Dad.  He was a self-taught carpenter as well as a general handy man.  I loved to spend time with him in whatever way possible.  At that time, he gave me a small hammer to call my own.  Over the years, I didn’t think too much about this hammer but when I got married and left home, my Dad gave it to me.  

A couple of months ago, one of my granddaughters phoned and asked if she could spend the day with us.  Her dad was on the way out and he promptly dropped her off at our house. Grandpa was busy hanging pictures using my trusty hammer so I asked our granddaughter to hand the hammer to grandpa when he needed it.  I then explained to my six-year-old granddaughter that I used this very hammer when I was about her age.  She looked at me with that quizzical look of hers and asked “really”.   I’m sure she wondered if I was ever really that young. 

I proceeded to tell her how precious this hammer was to me because it was a gift from my father and one day I would love to give it to her but I wanted to wait until she could realize the importance of it.  I want to pass my hammer along, but as simple and as old as this gift may be, I want her to keep it and do the same.  Now isn’t that silly?  Well not “really”, at least not to me. My hammer signifies a lovely memory and a cherished part of my life.  The words that I write have much the same meaning.  My words are my hammer.  It’s why I write.  I want my words passed along down the line to all who are willing to read them.  I have a message.  My message means an awful lot to me. Does yours?  If so, please join me in song and pass your hammer along.   

Previously posted on twgauthors.blogspot.com April 26, 2010



10 Responses to 'IF I HAD A HAMMER ~ November 25, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte'

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  1. Andrea said,

    We all want to leave a little part of ourselves, hopeing that it will have meaning. Your writing has definitely done that. Jenae will also enjoy the hammer when it comes her way.

    • Yes…I look forward to the day when I will pass it along to someone who will treasure it like I do! 🙂

  2. I’m new to your site and am glad that I found it. I really love this story and the sentimentality and significance of these piece for you. It made me reflect on what I would like to “pass down” one day. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ashley,
      Welcome to my site. I really appreciate your positive comments and encouragement. I am going to check out your site too! 🙂

  3. Susan said,

    Well I’ve got a hammer
    And I’ve got a bell
    And I’ve got a song to sing
    All over this land
    It’s the hammer of justice
    It’s the bell of freedom
    It’s the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
    All over this land

    Love the story and treasure the memories it brings of life’s special gifts. I still have several special treasures from my childhood, and some I’ve kept for my daughter – for the time she will understand and appreciate these special treasures. I can hear Mary Travers singing now… I will so miss her in this life, even though I didn’t know her personally, she and Peter and Paul have always been a very special part in my life. We saw Peter and Paul at the Kerrville Folk Festival in May. Their songs rang out as a celebration of Mary’s life as well as their own and their children’s. Thanks for sharing this story and bringing so many fond memories to my mind as well. 🙂

    • Susan…I love this response! Thank you so much for relating to what I had to say and for joining me in song. The words of this song are so powerful and a great motto to live by. Keep singing my dear friend. I can see that we are in the same songbook and on the same page! 🙂

  4. hope_rising said,

    WOW Miss D, that family resemblance in that picture is uncanny!

    I do remember that song … peter paul and Mary … great song, great album!

    I love your hammer story. Over the last year or so, as I’ve let go of my daughter, many of the things I had held onto for sentimental reasons have all found new homes. I didn’t see a reason to keep them… but there is one, a Tasher Tudor Fairytale book that I sitll have. I will most likely pass that along this Christmas to a niece who is very much a book worm. The book is valuable, as it is a first edition, so hopefully, they’ll take good care of it .. if not, so be it …. but I do understand your attachment to your hammer… it’s actually very sweet!

    LLL from HTH!

    • Hope…I love that song too. I have become quite sentimental over the years and I keep all kinds of silly momentoes. I am touched by your story about your daughter not being in your life. I know how much you’ve worked to look ahead with hope. I am there with you on your journey. Thanks for being there for me on mine. HTH Miss D

  5. sharkbytes said,

    Great little object lesson. I cherish all my dad’s tools, that are now mine, and, yes, I hope someone will care about things I wrote after I’m gone.

    • Thanks and welcome to A Woman’s Voice. I also cherish many momentos from my dad. These precious little things me a great deal to me. I can see I’m not alone. Blessings to you.

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