Welcome to handmade Christmas gift edition 2016.
If you are new here and you’ve never celebrated the holidays with us, I need to start with a little explanation.
Our family makes gifts for each other every year. We started small. Someone made soap and then someone knitted something and then there was the year someone made trash cans with faces.
And then all that soaping and knitting and trash-can decorating turned into something a little more elaborate.
Like a picture of a thistle composed entirely of words from my blog.
Or a bowl carved from a tree that my father grew from a sapling.
Or a stone doormat created from pebbles collected from every state in the union and stamped with each state’s bird (no one actually did that, but you never know…it might happen next year).
And so it was on Christmas morning 2016….
….I opened this from my brother.
He found a wine barrel lid at a yard sale and created a piece of art for me.
Carefully, slowly and with great precision, he routed out my logo from the blog into the rough and jagged surface of the lid.
With every movement of the router, he peeled away the layers, allowing the age-old beauty of the reclaimed wood to shine.
When he gave me the gift, I cried.
Well, first I ran and hugged him and then hugged the wine barrel lid and then almost tripped over piles of wrapping paper and boxes and ribbon.
And then the tears welled up in my eyes.
I couldn’t help it.
Sitting there with twelve drummers drumming and pipers piping and ladies dancing and calling birds swirling all around me, I traced those lines etched into the wood.
It was just like the life lessons I’ve learned from writing this blog.
When I started this blogging journey, five years ago…
…I was a blank slate.
I had no idea where the road ahead would take me.
I had no idea how much I would be challenged and tested and pushed out of my comfort zone.
I had no idea of the steps I would take on faith alone.
And I owe it all to you.
With every comment. With every e-mail. With every message.
You helped carve out a part of this blog. You helped define the me that I am today. With your encouragement and enthusiasm and kindness and joy, you helped me explore new ideas and live out dreams….
….and find my voice.
Thank you for cheering and encouraging and recognizing that red lipstick is an amazing thing and that smocking and burlap should never be parted and a seagrass rug goes with almost everything and that life is meant to be shared.
Thank you friend.
Thank you for helping me write this story. 🙂
PS I love you, Mark. You’re the best brother and best story-carver ever.