Monday, January 31, 2011

the christmas stool

this is silas (or dutch as i call him in my sidebar) with his christmas present from his papaw. it's a small stool, like a step stool or something like that. my dad made it for him a special piece of walnut, and i want to share the story of this stool.

so without further ado:

the story of the christmas stool

several years ago, back when my grandpa was in relatively good health, my uncle dan wanted to log part of his property so that he could build a barn. uncle dan enlisted the help of his two brothers and his father to get the job done. i can just imagine the three brothers and their dad all together. grandpa in his finest i-know-how-to-do-this-so-listen-to-me-boys mood and the boys anxious to spend the day with their dad. apparently they spent the day doing back breaking work and cleared the area just like uncle dan wanted.

during the course of their logging, they came upon a walnut tree. my grandpa was a furniture maker and his favorite wood to work with was walnut. so they saved this tree and had it processed (or whatever it is you have to do to make trees into lumber to use) and gave it all to my grandpa. i'm sure he used it to make beautiful furniture for his sweetheart (i can't verify this, but that's what i like to think happened to that wood) a couple years after my grandpa passed away my uncle dan came to my dad with a piece of walnut and explained that it was from the tree that they had logged with grandpa. dad gladly accepted it and put it away for something special.

well, silas entered the picture and dad started thinking about what he could get his first grandson for christmas. he couldn't think of anything that screamed 'special' and was getting a bit upset about it. he happened upon the walnut panel in his shop and decided he would make something for silas. so with a nod to his dad, who made very similar stools for his grandchildren many years ago, he made this stool for silas. a gift from him and his dad.

but that's not the end of the story. dad did not have the tools, nor talent (maybe?) to do the writing on the stool. he wanted to put silas's name and the date on it, but didn't have a way to do it. so he and my mom took a trip to the smokey mountains and found a wood carver. the carver didn't really want to do the carving since walnut was such a hard wood. he was afraid he would mess it up. dad assured him that if he did mess it up it wouldn't be that big of a deal, even though dad was praying that this man wouldn't ruin his special piece of wood. the carver finally agreed and did a wonderful job!

when he was done the carver was pleased with how it turned out. dad then proceeded to tell him how special the wood was and how it came to be so special and what it was for. the carver refused payment and just asked that when the story of this stool was told that he got added to the story.

that is the story. i may not have written it in the most interesting, readable fashion but there it is. mostly for my memory and for silas. if you enjoyed it, then it's just icing on the cake!


  1. I'm probably not up for the pic each day but I just thought I'd check out your blog anyway!! Great pics of a really adorable baby<3

  2. @julia - thanks! if you're not up for every day, maybe you could do all seven at one time. my goal isn't doing it it's documenting a year in our life.

  3. What an awesome story! Silas is a little cutie pie, too.

  4. What a wonderful story! If my Pie was a boy I wanted to name her Silas, but the Mountain Man didn't like that name all that much... I love it though! And my Pie has a Papaw, too! I know it's a common name in the south, but we're in the NW and no one has a papaw!

    I'm bookmarking... I'll be back!

  5. Saw your blog listed on BBC and thought I would stop by. I love this story! It made me cry. I love when people give special gifts like that. I hope the stool is still around when your LO has grandchildren and that he does the same for them. Thanks for sharing!