A yellow lab puppy. Dawn was the darkest yellow female puppy with the most extra skin on her furry little body, one of eleven from an accidental litter between our mostly black lab mutt, Kelly, and our registered yellow lab, Butch.
I was incredibly sick with the flu that year, and Mom had to force me out of my bedroom and onto the couch. I was wearing my beloved yellow nightshirt that Mom desperately wanted me to throw away, and I think it was one of the few Christmases in middle and high school where I didn’t wash my face and brush my teeth before joining the family. Basically, I was too sick to care if my parents took pictures of me looking a mess.
As I took my place on the couch and wrapped myself up in a blanket, all growly and congested, Mom cheerfully tried to get me something to drink while Dad disappeared. Dad reappeared a short while later, dumped a squirming and affectionate puppy in my lap and growled, “Merry Christmas” at me before walking away. I hadn’t believed that I would get to keep a puppy from the litter… Kelly was Dad’s dog and Butch was officially my sister Jaci’s, and I knew Dad didn’t want three dogs (period). So to be freely given the puppy I’d been harboring not-so-secret desires of stealing was a true Christmas miracle and surprise.
A unique, handmade wooden mirror made by Dave Sauer of Sauer Wood Designs.
Back in November, I drove to Asheville to hang out with my sister for a weekend. She was excited as she drove me to meet her friend Dave, and then to a local store that sells specialty wood. We walked through what was basically a large garage full of planks, boards, branches and stumps, pointing out the interesting bits and pieces with character. Eventually we checked out with two boards — a piece of apple that we were both in love with but weren’t sure about, and a backup piece that was made out of an extremely lightweight wood. We drove both pieces back to Dave’s house, and in his wood shop his artist’s eye immediately began assessing our treasures.
The lightweight piece he’d actually noticed on his last trip, and said he thought it would make a good bench. The apple he passed through the band saw and the table saw, and then sent through the planer several times. I walked away with only an idea of what the final product would look like, but having a small background in woodworking myself, it was strangely satisfying to have been a part of that initial process to select the wood and see it ripped down into its final shape.
I was at my house, sick and trying to avoid the family, when Jaci stopped by to deliver the masterpiece: my Christmas 2012/Birthday 2013 present. It is more beautiful in person than I could start to explain! Dave certainly has an eye for bringing out the best in a piece of wood, and after having seen several pieces on display in his house I knew on a level that I could trust his judgment when it came to putting my mirror together. When I saw the final product, I had no doubt that he had yielded its full potential. It’s a beautiful statement piece that will forever remind me of my awesome sister, Asheville, and fire pits! (I also like the fact that the overlay wood is apple, my favorite fruit which I am now allergic to and can’t eat.)
I’m not sure that I can say this theory has been accurately tested with only two examples. Perhaps there are other people out there in the universe who have similar stories? I’m not quite positive that I want to go through another holiday season of feeling like an unwashed honey badger with a hangover and a smoker’s cough… but if someone wants to put an actual horse + board at a local stable on the line, I might consider it. *wink*