Thursday, February 14, 2013


It seems that the graphic design used to go along with the word "heart", has been tied to the celebrations of St. Valentine's Day, for generations.  For this reason, February 14, 2013, seems like an appropriate time to brag on the hand-crafted heart designs my father made in his woodworking shop, over the course of his retirement years.  The big red heart at the top of the photo is made out of a thin piece of plywood, and he copied the design by outlining a wooden heart I had bought at a craft store in Fayetteville.  Perhaps that was the inspiration for his setting off on a woodworking frenzy to make lovely, heart-shaped boxes out of various types of wood he had available, which was mostly cedar.  All these heart designs are ways of showing love, from the person who made them---to the person who receives them.
 Since Dad did not like to waste anything, he would carefully cut out the center of the thick cedar planks he was using, so that his cut-out could also be made into something useful.  By drilling holes in the cut-outs, he made  heart-shaped pencil holders.
 Of all his hand-made wooden items, I think these cedar heart boxes are my favorite.  When I left the lid, and smell the cedar, it is a pleasing aroma reminding me to give thanks for the family I was born into, especially my Dad who made the box, and my mother who assisted him.
 Dad would sometimes leave the unstained, cedar cut-outs remaining after completing a box, in their unfinished state, so that they could be placed in closets to ward off those pesky moths that want to eat holes in your woolen items.
 Looking at the inside of the box, one can see the evidence of it being handcrafted, and not "factory made".  To me, that makes it even more special.  This was my father's way of showing his love for his family.
 When I was photographing the various wooden hearts my dad had made, I came across this one, saved from some of the personal effects of my mom.
 It was a sweet note from my son, thanking mom for assisting him with some sort of costume item for his high school prom.  My mom was a big believer in writing thank you notes, so I am sure, this thank you note from her grandson, along with the accompanying wooden heart, touched her "biological heart" as well!  This was my son's way of showing his love for his grandmother.
 I also came across this heart, made of alabaster, which my son gave to me on some holiday occasion.  Like my mother before me, this touched my "biological heart", as well as making a nice keepsake.  This was my son's way of showing his love for his mom. 
 Besides it being Valentine's Day, the other reason I was on a "photo quest" of heart designs, is because I was trying to find a picture I could use as a mnemonic device to help me with my First Place 4 Health ( ) memory verse from Psalm 31:24, that says "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD."  This stack of Bibles could also be thought of as a type of Valentine greeting, even though they do not have the graphic heart design.  That is because the Bible contains God's message of LOVE---the greatest Valentine greeting anyone could imagine.  It is God's way of showing love to his greatest creation---humankind.   I hope  your celebration of the love expressed on St. Valentine's Day, will bring you "miles of smiles"!    Tricia
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