An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Not being one of great means, I've spent most of my life "inheriting" 2nd or 3rd hand furniture or just buying cheap "assemble yourself" particle board veneered disposable crud. My wife and I have long wished for a good quality dining room set that included a HUGE table and BENCHES instead of chairs. We like a rustic feel, but ironically, rustic is expensive. Unless you do it yourself.
I must preface all of this with the warning that I am as much a carpenter as I am a neurosurgeon. But I found a pretty cool and SIMPLE bench design (Leopold - typically intended for outdoor use, but hey, I LIKE it) that uses just standard lumber. Noting the nearly dangerous state of our chairs, I decided I'd do it. Today, after Church, I completed the assembly of the benches with my daughters' help and we put on the first coat of stain/polyurethane. They don't look half bad, and I suspect a guy my size could do gymnastics on them and they wouldn't even hint at a possible failure. And if and when they do fail...their design and my familiarity will allow for a quick and easy repair.
Yeah, they will not meet up to the standards of some accustomed to butlers or some equivalent thereof...but I reckon they'll work just fine for our standard "buffet counter and find your own seat" style of entertaining. I'll take some pics once they get one more coat of stain. They should make their debut for T-day.