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Joe’s business card says “Joe Wood, Builder.”

The first house Joe built for himself was a refurbished two-room schoolhouse. I’ve seen it only in pictures. The second stands unfinished at Kelly Ridge, on land settled by his ancestors–built, after his first marriage ended, by a man intent on being single forever.

The third is my mother’s apartment in Richmond, which he finished a month ago, just in time for their first anniversary. It’s so beautiful. To walk into it is to know its beauty, and understand that one man built it perfectly, with his hands, for the woman he loved.