A Treasured Hand-made Gift

My Grandfather’s Passion

I wonder what he envisioned when he held the untouched block of wood in his hands.

I wonder if his creation came to him in one moment or did it develop over time as he prepared and carved the wood.

I wonder how his eyes would have appraised the progress and noticed anything that needed some extra care.

I wonder at how his hands would have held the wood and turned it and applied the tools and correct pressure and motions to reveal the figure bit by bit.

I wonder at how he felt as he anticipated the joy it would bring me to behold his gift.

I wonder at the hours he spent carving and shaping and smoothing and painting.

And I wonder and feel thankful for the love he put into all of it.

 

IMG_2613 (2)

 

I pulled this wood-carved figure down from the shelf that it stands on to have a good look at it again.

My husband’s and my wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and this carved figure was a present in honour of our wedding day over 30 years ago, presented to us by my grandmother and grandfather on our honeymoon visit to see them in Germany.

My grandfather was self-taught at wood carving, and I know he had such a passion for it, as he carved many beautiful pieces over the years.  His skills may appear rough compared to more highly trained wood carvers, but in our family we appreciated all the work and joy he put into each piece.

Whenever I would go for visits to their place, in every room I would see a diverse array of his artwork, including a big and detailed head board for my grandparents bed.  He also lovingly carved an appropriate sized “stone” that rests at the head of their gravesite, which he made when my grandmother died before him.

 

**********

 

IMG_2621

 

Do you wonder why this long-robed man carries a key?

*****

The answer lies with the good wish that came inscribed at the bottom of this wooden figure.

 

IMG_2624 (2)

 

My grandfather initialed and dated this wooden figure, along with the message, which translated means, “Our dear Ela, for her wedding and for the future the key to happiness.”

And he signed it “Vati,” my endearment for him.

❤ ❤

 

 

Advertisements

Honeysuckle – a Hint of Sweetness

IMG_2890

 

A cascade of pink!

Delicacy in design,

Sweetness in the air.

 

********************

 

The honeysuckle in the front yard looks to be bursting at the seams with colour!

Such a dramatic change within the past two days….from leaves and buds to….this!

And when walking along the path, one’s nose is treated to a light tantalizing sweet sensation.

Every year I grow to love this spring wonder more and more.

Here is a fuller view of the shrub.

 

IMG_2880

 

 

“Will you share with me?”

IMG_2292

 

Completely at ease;

Perched on my purse; treat in hand,

You don’t mind, do you?

 

********************

Hahaha!

I can only be filled with admiration at the audacity, charm, and cuteness of this little furry friend I saw a couple of days ago.

I was almost done my work at the cottage I was cleaning and had already brought supplies onto the porch, along with my water bottle and purse.  The last thing to do was finish mopping the floor.

It wasn’t long before I heard the distinctive sounds of my chipmunk friend coming to check me out.

I learned something new that day.  And I shouldn’t be surprised….really.  My chipmunk friend has a tremendously keen nose. After coming up the stairs and investigating a bit, it crawled up on my purse which I had left open by about four inches, leaned in, tore off some pieces from my apple inside, sat on top of my purse, and munched quite happily on it. Did this a few times.

 

IMG_2281

 

It could smell the tempting scent of my fresh apple – which was intended to be my after-work snack – from a good distance away.

Funny thing was,  I’d forgotten that I had put an apple into my purse when I left for work, and the way the chipmunk was holding its hands together while eating, it looked more like it was eating nuts. Which puzzled me, because I definitely remembered not having any nuts in my purse!

It wasn’t until after the chipmunk continued on its purposeful way, that I looked inside my purse and found the food source!

Feels good to have shared with my little furry friend.  And yes, I DID finish eating the apple.  Haha!

Hmm….I’m thinking claw scrape marks?  As the munching was done while sitting on its haunches outside and on my purse, keeping a steady eye on me.

 

 

IMG_2369

 

*****

And a few more photos….of its arrival and just hanging out…..

 

IMG_2266

IMG_2272 (2)

IMG_2275

IMG_2277

IMG_2280

IMG_2300

 

And then on its merry way again….

 

IMG_2345

 

Until next time, Chippy!  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Six Word Story #12

 

Hemingway, taken by Conrad April 2nd, 2017 on his phone

 

Relaxed….yet watching with utmost concentration.

 

**********

 

This photo of our cat, Hemingway, was taken by my son, Conrad, a couple of days ago, when he was also immersed with computer tasks….(you can see a bit of the computer cord).

He happened to show it to me just this evening, and my other son, Jason, and I immediately “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” over it.

What can I say?  All six of us in our family are majorly fond of our cute ‘n furry friend!

And seeing this photo – and it’s been a while since I posted something with Hemingway in it – I decided it would make for a fun, new Six Word Story.  🙂

Her face with the attentive gaze is clear in detail, while the rest of her body and long-haired fur have a nice out-of-focus look.

Saying Good-bye to Mary

Saying good-bye to another inspiring, beautiful soul.

 

mary-tyler-moore-google-images

(photo courtesy of Google images)

*****

She made me laugh; she had me smiling; she had me thinking.

Mary Tyler Moore inspired me. From the days of the Dick Van Dyke show and with her own show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I loved those shows. Great stories – well written and acted dramatic and comedic bits.  She became a role model for me to be confident and take on challenges and face the world with optimism.

Thank you, Mary.

And…..

I just found this video clip today.

 

COOL!

Good to see Joan Jett put her spin on The Mary Tyler Moore show’s theme song, “Love is All Around.” 😀

A fun tribute!

“Who can turn the world on with her smile?

Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?”

 

 

My Beloved “Born Free”

Here is a montage of photos from a youtube channel I just found, when I went searching for links to go with my beloved “Born Free” song.
I say beloved, because from the first time I heard the song and saw the movie, it made its home in my heart.

Something about Elsa, the lioness, and her caring human friends touched me deeply.

Every time….and I mean EVERY time I hear that song, I get all choked up inside. It’s a good choked up. My eyes water. I have no idea why, but it gets to me.

I suppose because it’s a song that speaks of freedom, which is the joy and true being of every creature on earth – human and animal – and to be born free and to live free is so important.
Thank you, Spotify algorithms for sharing the song again with me…..Matt Monro sings it.  I forever associate the song with his voice, too.

I love Elsa’s story.
I have had a soft spot for the large cats, since I was a young girl.
Panthers, tigers, leopards…..and especially lions.
The movie “Born Free” came out in 1966, so I was 6.
It made a lasting impression on me.

Even when watching the movie again years later, that child-like love resurfaced.

It’ll also explain why I felt compelled to get all THREE books at one point in my teen years. The two movies were based on the books (Born Free, Living Free, Forever Free) – written by Joy Adamson, describing the adventures she and her husband, George, experienced, when they lived in Kenya. Among their adventures was when they rescued orphaned Elsa, raised her and successfully (with some challenges, of course) returned her to the wild.
And Elsa managed to be part of a lion pride again and have her own cubs.

But mostly I fell in love with Elsa. Her wild and gentle spirit.

Here’s the song…..perhaps you’ve heard it before?

 

NOTE:  There are photos in this montage excerpted from Joy Adamson’s books and from the movie, “Born Free.”

 

For All My Friends on WordPress…

img_7949-2

*****

It’s been exciting and fun with all of my WordPress friends this year – learning new things and getting to know some of you more, sharing stories and photos from our parts of this beautiful world.

Thank you so much!

Michaela  ❤

Baked Goodies and Chocolates

img_7500

 

Round ones and square ones,

Chocolate or nuts inside;

Home-baked Christmas treats!

 

********************

 

A wonderful Christmas time with our kids at home again this year!

Decorating the tree…presents are wrapped…sharing meals together…lots of fun conversations…opening gifts…smiles and plenty of laughter…playing games…hugs and love.

As part of my gift packages to everyone, I added in some baked goodies – some cookies and squares – and some colourful and delicious store-bought chocolate truffles and chocolate Christmas bears.  Yummy!

 

img_7363

 

A Time For Giving Hugs

img_6731

 

I have a feel-good Christmas story for you, my Friends!

I encountered Mary Smith at the Independent grocery store on Tuesday of this week, right after finishing the weekly cooking class upstairs in the store.

I was heading for a cart to do some grocery shopping, and there she stood…..at the entrance way, surrounded by the pretty reds of bountiful potted poinsettias…..her red Salvation Army tunic blending in so well.

Mary stood there, jingling those Christmas bells with great cheer and a smile on her face, and welcomed me with “Would you like a hug?”

Of course, you can well imagine my response to that one! Hahaha!

Who turns down a hug, especially when greeted with such warmth and kindness?

And it was a great hug!

And since I actually happened to have a goodly amount of change on me, I pulled out my wallet to donate into the well-recognizable, dangling Salvation Army depositor.

She immediately got all serious on me and said that wasn’t WHY she had offered the hug. Simply put, she just enjoys welcoming people and sharing good will and good cheer. I could sense that. And I reassured her that I didn’t feel any obligation. But that I wanted to give. Plus, she could always give me another hug?

Which she did!

Well, as you might have guessed, Mary and I hit it off. Of course, I didn’t know her name from the start…..that all came out in the course of our conversation, as I spent a good deal of time with her…..yep….chatting. And also stopping from time to time, as she greeted other customers with hugs and smiles.

At first we started out with small talk…..and then she talked more and more. I guess she felt I was a kindred spirit.  A little bit of her life poured out.

I enjoyed listening to her lilting Scottish inflections as she talked. She talked about living hereabouts and also before she immigrated from the homeland. A good sense of humour. And a feisty side to her, I could also detect. Sometimes she revealed some sadder experiences in her life. And every here and there, I’d give her another hug.

Yep, it was a modest little love fest.

And I think it touched us both and we parted the better for it.

 

img_6721

 

**********

 

img_6725

Gentleness

img_1901-2

 

Quietly calm.  Trust.

The youngling cradled in warmth,

A tender moment.

 

********************

 

In June of this year, when my co-worker, Ryan, and I were busy weeding in the garden, we met a wee little, feathered friend.

During a brief break, Ryan happened to look in the direction of a nearby tree and noticed something had fallen.  He disappeared for a few moments and then returned with this little one gently cupped in his hands, and both he and I spent a few moments just appreciating one of nature’s creatures – I’m thinking perhaps a robin fledgling? – We guessed that perhaps it had fallen from the tree in an effort to learn flying from the nest and trying out the new feather growth.

It seemed not to mind us; quite content to just rest.

Ryan then went back to the tree and let it go.

That lovely encounter completely made our day!