I can probably count on one hand the things that scare me. My daughters, forgetting to dvr the Saints game on Sundays, and my mom somehow knowing the language I use in my head when coaching my football team on game days make up three of the four fears that I can think of at the moment. Though the three fears listed are concerning, combined they do not scare me nearly as much as number four, the fear of discarding something that could have potential use to me in the future. Fear number four is often viewed as a curse by many, including myself, but sometimes it pays off big time which gives it all the legitimacy I need to avoid any attempt to overcome it.
A few years ago when we moved into our house one of the first orders of business was to trim the seven oak trees that surround our house due to the limbs that were banging on windows and rubbing the roof. One weekend my father-in-law loaned me his pole saw and warned to “not get carried away, you have to remember whatever you cut, down you have to pick up.” That was great advice, I wish I would have used it. So after I finished getting “carried away” I looked around my yard and saw nothing but huge piles of leaves, limbs, and logs everywhere. The task of trimming the trees was done, but the work had not even started. During my first of many trailer loads of debris I began to think that the wood I had cut down could easily be so much more than just firewood. What exactly that so much more was I did not know at the time, but I knew there was potential for something.
Disgusted with the amount of extra work I had created for myself for not heeding my father-in-law’s advice and trying to imagine the potential other than making smoke signals this oak possessed, I did the only thing that I could think of, prolonged the end to my trimming job by creating more work for myself. Still not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I began to cut the bigger branches into approximately two-foot sections and stored them in my shop for a later use that I had no clue at the time would be. Fortunately I not only found “a” use for the firewood I had cut, but many, mainly making wooden spoons.
Above is one of the first utensils and just one of many different types of spoons and utensils that I have made with the oak that should have been burned. I still have a decent bit left from that job, but I have branched out (pun intended) to using other types of woods to make spoons, forks, and spatulas as well. It is a lot of fun and very rewarding to take an unimpressive log that should probably be heating someone’s home or setting a spooky scene for camper’s ghost stories and make something lasting and useful with it. By no means are any of the utensils that I make perfect, but to me that is what makes them great. Each one is unique. With that being said, I have gotten a lot better and more efficient at making them thanks to all the practice I got from the wood off of my tree trimming extravaganza. Maybe people are lying to me, but many have shown a great appreciation for them as well.
My fourth fear usually results in clutter and frustration for my wife, but it is not all bad. Had my fears stopped at three I would have missed out on learning about working with wood, species of wood, and a pretty fun hobby. I enjoy turning a simple firewood log into some type of useful spoon or utensil and have even made cups, coasters, a pig, boat paddles, and knife handles from them. The possibilities are seemingly endless and I plan to continue to discover them until that is disproven. Thank you for reading, if you enjoyed this article I would appreciate it if you could like, comment, and follow my blog.