Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Woodsman

This week we received a HUGE and unexpected gift. A gift that Jim appreciated much more than I ever could. A gift that served as a leisure and study break, as well as a source of warmth in days to come, and an opportunity to buy new toys tools.

Yes, this week our landlord decided to take down a massive oak tree right next to our house. And, when asked, allowed us to take the fallen wood for ourselves, as long as we split it ourselves.

I came home to my husband grinning from ear to ear. He brought me outside like it was Christmas morning and showed me his new ax and his new splitter. Mind you, this medical student was in the middle of two weeks of finals, but this did not stop his drive to chop all of the wood. (It helped that another neighbor was vying for the same load of wood, too ;)

You wouldn't believe how many pictures I tried to snap of this man cutting wood. He never stopped moving, they're all blurry, and none of them catch the childish grin pasted on his face.

One day he came inside and said, "I don't know if I'll be able to move my hands in the OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) practical tomorrow." He yearns for hard labor and exercise and opportunities to use his tools to complete a necessary task. Never seeking to something impractical or to spend extraneous money, he is known to go to some extremes. Nothing would stop him from enjoying the cutting of this wood and splitting of kindling. And, let it be known, his practical went without a flaw.

Another extreme has to do with his search for wooden pallets. This summer we went to the school board office so that I could sign my contract and Jim waited in the car while I went inside. When I got back in the car there was a pallet of wood from a parking lot across the street. He used this to make us a beautiful three-drawer dresser for the bathroom. I say beautiful, yes. That's definitely how I would describe this pallet wood furniture because he sanded it and chose pieces with a beautiful orange and blue tint. A new and prized furniture item in our house.

But most of the time he gets his pallets from the dumpster in a parking lot of a company on his bike ride home from school. It's free and it assists him in his passion for woodworking on a low budget!

This man is also finishing a dog house for our dogs. The house is made out of MANY things and all of them haven't cost us a cent. Well, all except the $6.00 straw bale I picked up from Southern States. It's made of straw, sawdust (from my school's wood shop), wooden pallets, cardboard (many, many of our old cereal boxes, shoe boxes, and whatnot), wine bottles, dirt, and mud.

To go with the theme of this week we attended the Highlander Festival in Radford, VA yesterday morning. It was a true treat to walk around the Scottish, Irish, and Celtic craft booths, hear the bagpipes, and watch the athletes in kilts compete in throwing a 17 pound rock the largest distance. Back to Jim's Scottish roots and back to his love for hard, rough tasks.

All while completing two weeks of finals. He knows how to balance. Never ceases to amaze me.


  1. Wow. You guys are so cool. First of all- to be so thrilled with some wood and splitting! Um, hello? Want to come back to Alaska? ;-)
    I'd like to see a picture of that doghouse. And the dresser. Jim's a pretty handy guy, huh?

  2. What a guy :) Jake shares his giddy enthusiasm for chopping wood! You should see how many fire wood stacks we have right now... I've had to say "ENOUGH". Ditto on wanting to see a pic of the pallet dresser and cereal box dog house... can't imagine!