On a recent visit to my childhood home I spent some time taking photos of some animals my grandfather carved when I was a little girl. He just made them for fun, sitting on the porch overlooking his garden, finding a happy critter in a block of maple or walnut scavenged from the woodpile, and freeing them with deft flicks of his pocket knife.
There are about a dozen of them in our branch of the family, and, we think, there are probably more that got handed down to Dad’s brother and sisters and through them to their kids and grandkids. We’d love to see a gathering of all the ones he made, but that seems unlikely to happen–he made a lot and probably gave them away to lots of people in and out of the family.
We’ve often said they’d be right at home in a folk art museum . . .
. . . but for now they’re right at home on my mother’s mantelpiece.
And someday (no hurry, Mom), they’ll perch on my sister’s and mine.
In the meantime, I love just having the photos of them to look at–something to help me remember the quiet, gentle man who made them (and the quiet, gentle fellow who was his son and who grew up to be my dad).