Gift from a Carpenter

A jackknife is a prized possession usually kept in a pocket.  The TSA has strict security rules in place to prevent an on board terrorist attack.  Many precious sentimental items have been relinquished during security screenings.  Holidays are a peak travel time

and for most a once in a year or lifetime event.  Consider every item before you pack it.  Check your pockets and set aside anything that will be taken at security check points.  Airlines post lists and the TSA website is an excellent resource Isn’t this something we hear all too frequently?  Sure, but some things are not replaceable when they have a high sentimental value.

I recall an airport incident during a TSA screening of an elderly passenger in a wheelchair.  The officer found a leather case in a carry on bag containing nail files, scissors, cuticle instruments and a trimmer.  The man was very emotional  when the item was taken and explained it was given to him by his mother when he went off to war.  A travel companion quickly intervened and gave the item to a relative not traveling.  The screening check points are harder on the young, old, and disabled.  Travel companions are often separated and pulled aside separately for additional screening.  People with disabilities are often at the greatest risk as hearing or eyesight may interfere with understanding the screening process. 

Please remember to advocate for your loved ones when they travel.  That may mean you will need to park your car, walk into the terminal and make sure they arrive at their gate.  Remember: provision is made on a reservation for a traveling passenger to have a pass issued for a helper allowing them to accompany the passenger to the gate and wait until they board.  Check with the airline before traveling and inquire about their protocol.

The attached photo features my treasured jackknife given to me by my father.  I carried it as a teenager and was very proud of it.  I used it to cut fishing line and practice my whittling.  I have it displayed on my dresser top because it is a reminder of the days when hands were always busy creating useful items for the home.  My Dad and my Uncle were talented carpenters, plumbers, electricians as well as mechanically inclined as part of the trades every young man learned.  My Uncle became a professional in his trade and my father became an engineer and tool designer for a major aerospace company.  Each of these men grew up on a farm in Wisconsin.  There was great pride in knowing how to do everything on a family farm. 


The spatulas were hand carved by my Uncle.  I have used them for many years.  They have a gentle quiet nature when sautéing in a non-stick pan and will not melt while using a heavy cast iron frying pan.  The spoon was whittled by my father.  I used it to stir a candy batch.  The color of the wood has changed with heat, yet the sturdy tools have outlasted every plastic spatula in my drawer.

Our sponsor employs master craftsmen.  This U.S. company manufactures fine cabinetry and custom furniture.  Recently hand turned hardwood bowls and platters were turned on a wood lathe and donated for a project to support an orphanage in Haiti. 

Christmas reminds us about the story behind the Christ child.  Not much was known about his childhood.  It is written he was the son of a carpenter.  Most likely he was a skilled woodworker and most able to carve and whittle wooden vessels at a young age.  “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman, And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him”  Proverbs 8:30NKJV

Take time to master a skill and craft a gift with your hands.  The greatest gift to mankind was the Christ child born in Bethlehem.  God gave his only son to save the world, not condemn it.

Peace be unto you

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