Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Giving

Back in May, Arnie had been given a lathe and some tools by his wife Maggie who thought he was too much underfoot and this would be a good birthday present anyway. After all the kids could give him tools and funny woods for the next twenty years. What to give a man who does nothing is always a problem, but a man with a lathe, the local club told her, always needs something.

Arnie was captivated. The shop in the basement was quickly too dusty and too small so the Ford found a new home in the driveway and the lathe set up housekeeping in the garage. Strange logs appeared in the driveway and a chainsaw found its way into the picture. Bowls and candlesticks began to find their own way into the house.

As Christmas neared one of Maggie's problems was solved. Money was tight and presents were going to be hard to come by, but Arnie's turnings had become quite suitable for gifts. There was, however, the other problem.

She had always gotten a turkey from work but this year the company had decided to give an assortment of ecologically correct gift wrap and bags. The idea was the company was going green but she thought it might be that the packages were a lot cheaper than the turkeys.

It turned out that Arnie had a solution to the problem and the answer had sort of just grown. He had shown his old pal Charles (never Charlie), the butcher down the street at the farm market some of his turnings over the last few months. Charles wanted a couple of gifts for his wife and daughter and was not averse to barter.

So a couple of days before Christmas Arnie took a burled salad bowl and an ash hollow form to Charles and returned home with a lovely free range turkey (ecologically correct thought Maggie to herself) and a long link of sausage. Years ago Maggie had started wrapping the turkey with a sausage as it roasted and traditions started are traditions kept, especially if they taste good.

"I don't know, Arnie," she said as she looked at the meat. "Bartering for the turkey is one thing, but I think you should have paid for the sausage."

"Why," asked Arnie. "Charles thought it was great trade."

"I'm just thinking about his family," said Maggie. "The turkey is one thing but Christmas is an awful time to cause a man to take a turn for the wurst."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year folks.
Keep on turning and may all your finishes be swirl free.

No comments: