Cradle to grave - Woodshop News

Cradle to grave

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Reading Doug’s comment to my previous blog regarding seeing a truckload of wares from Batesville Casket reminded me that I, too, have often seen them on the road among all the other carriers of woodworking wares.

I’ve commented here before on the importance of woodworkers, and it got me to thinking that woodworking is with us for our entire lives and even a bit beyond on both ends. Sure, things in our lives are also built with other materials, but it seems to be the wooden ones that hold the memories.

Even before a baby is born a wooden cradle (sometimes handcrafted by a loving parent or grandparent) is likely already waiting in the “baby’s room.” Some months later the baby graduates to a wooden crib. By the crawling and toddling stage, a host of wooden toys is there to entertain and educate.

Now on its feet, the infant rides a hobby horse, and pulls a wooden duck on wheels. Flash forward a couple years and there’s a wooden stool to help the potty-training child reach the you-know-what. Sandbox in the back yard, picnic table on outings, play-scape at the park, all made by woodworkers.

Older still, then it’s baseball bats and dollhouses, school desks and library shelves and church pews. A couple more years and a lot of time is spent on the parquet floor of the gym, followed by carving initials into a tree.

Marriage brings a lovely church with wood altar, structural beams and those pews again. Carry the bride over the threshold of a new home built mostly of wood, filled with new wooden furniture. Off on a career and there’s another desk, while working at home sees cutting boards, rolling pins and dishes in a cabinet. A jewelry box as an anniversary gift; a display case for Father’s Day. Retirement brings a gold watch in a wooden case.

Then more years pass, and there’s that wooden casket waiting for us. From the time we’re born to the time we die – and for all the time in between – we’re surrounded by wood and by the crafts made by woodworkers.

Wood is life, and life is wood.

Till next time,

A.J.

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