When I’ve traveled to Europe, I’ve always been interested in the stones and brick in the old buildings in old cities. I think about the workers building these structures without the modern tools we have today, and it’s certainly been workmanship that’s endured over hundreds and thousands of years. I doubt if many of the wood-frame homes in our country will last that long.

This was most evident to me a few years ago when I visited Rome for the first time, and specifically the Colosseum. This arena is almost 2,000 years old, and as I strolled around I imagined it filled with 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, roaring in enjoyment at some of the brutal sports of their day. Wikipedia notes that about 9,000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games of the amphitheatre. Okay, I didn’t know that at the time I was there and I try not to think about that now, but what I did notice were the stones and bricks that make up the Colosseum. So many patterns, so many textures. Such work it must have been, almost 2,000 years ago, to haul and hoist and place these heavy pieces in position to create such a beautiful structure. Sure, it’s been damaged over the years, but the workmanship is still there, and I think it will last for quite a few years more.