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Grandpa’s Workshop

Some of my fondest memories take place at the kitchen table with my grandpa, sketching my latest idea for a project to build in the workshop.

Grandpa would sit quietly, watching me draw, encouraging me with a nod, steering me in the right direction with a question or two. I always took the lead on our projects. He was the master carpenter but more than that, one of my greatest teachers.

After he passed away, I found some of our old drawings, roughly sketched on pieces of paper, nailed on the wall next to the table saw. Grandpa's Workshop/ daniellekaren.com

And then I saw it, sitting there on the windowsill in front of his workbench. Fashioned out of scrap wood and glue, the first project I made in the shop as a child.

It had been there for so long I didn’t even notice it anymore.

The significance of it, this little wooden structure, still sitting there all these years later, was a powerful moment for me.

Standing there in his workshop, without him, I truly understood what it meant to be loved by someone.

My hope is for my own children to know this kind of love.

Grandpa was a noticer. He was a quiet man, observant. Patient beyond measure.

But he could also share his heart over a cup of coffee and grandma’s baking.

It’s been eleven years since he passed away.

The impact he has had on our family; his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, will forever be his legacy.

As I write these words, I am sitting at my kitchen table in the spot that was always Grandpa’s. I am blessed to be living in the same home my grandparents once lived.

Yesterday was his birthday. It was also the day our new store officially went online selling handcrafted wood candlesticks.

My husband and I now spend hours working in the shop, turning candlesticks on the wood lathe, creating blends of stains and waxes.

Someone once told me grief and mourning are two different things. Grief hits you. Grief is a universal experience we all have.

Grief knocked me to my knees when Grandpa died. I couldn’t walk without him.

Mourning is what we do with that grief. Mourning is taking that heaviness and moving it forward, expressing it in whatever form that takes.

And it’s different for all of us.

I would never have guessed this is what I would be doing eleven years later. But at the same time, it doesn’t really surprise me. Working with my hands, creating something new has always been a part of my life. Being able to spend my days in grandpa’s shop, working alongside my husband is a gift I am so thankful for.Grandpa's Workshop / daniellekaren.com / walking this path without you has somehow led me right to you

 

Jeff and I would like to dedicate the opening of our shop, TIMBERSTICKS

to one of my greatest teachers.

Thank you Grandpa.

Love you forever and always

xoxoxo



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