The Spider on the Stalk in the Woods

Yesterday was my birthday—my 36th. It’s not a particularly high number, nor a rounded one, but this year will probably be one of the most memorable for me. You see, last week, I did a thing, a BIG thing. I quit my job of almost 10 years.

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My Latest Muse

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You may have noticed my absence these past few months. Or not. I do tend to blend into a crowd–and the Internet. Any-who, I’ve been up to something really, really important. It’s taken a lot out of me, but I’m super proud of it.

Are you ready to see my latest creation?

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A Little Sand Between My Toes

We took another phenomenal beach vacation to Carpinteria, California at the end of July. As always, the surf, sand, and wildlife were rejuvenating. Also, there’s nothing better than seeing your child share in your wonder.

I miss this beach already, so I’m musing over the photos and videos from the trip while I take a staycation at home (to use up the last of my vacation days at work).

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The Smell of Sawdust

My Paw Paw Kelly (grandfather) liked to work with wood. He had a workshop in a shed beyond the swing set and the garden. He would make fanciful things mostly. My favorite was a little girl in a red dress sitting on a swing. He hung her in the front yard from a tree, and she always made me feel welcomed whenever we visited his bosky home.

Like Paw Paw (and my creative Maw Maw), I’ve always found working with my hands interesting. I like to learn new things and shape something into something else. Sewing, painting, photography, gardening, woodworking, writing, and so on: they all stem from a need to make.

Humans are awesome that way. But, sometimes we make without conscious planning. We gather our materials without wondering about where they came from or how they are created.

My friend Silas Kyler made it his mission to remind us. He took his passion for woodworking and turned it into a beautiful documentary called Felled and a how-to book called The Art and Craft of Wood: A Practical Guide to Harvesting, Choosing, Reclaiming, Preparing, Crafting, and Building with Raw Wood. Both offer a glimpse into craftsmanship from start to finish and a real plea to look at the possibilities in things we take for granted. Like the Lorax, Silas and his colleagues “speak for the trees” and speak through them.

Like my grandfather, they are carrying on a tradition as old as civilization.

I love that smell of sawdust, it evokes so many memories… and possibilities.