The old time woodshop journals #29: Trip to simplicity

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 10-09-2012 10:08 PM 1538 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 28: A message from me to you! Part 29 of The old time woodshop journals series Part 30: The man on the mountain »

Friday morning found our travels set upon faster paces than normal with New Jersey traffic in high demand and far from giving any neighboring driver a brake. For me and Jenn this is not really our favorite part of living in NJ but we make the best of where we are at and adapt to the madness as best as possible.

Soon we were moving past the welcome to NY sign and the scenery was growing in color and in country as we progressed farther north to upstate. When possible it’s good to get away and every mountain side filled with maples, pines, and oaks was a fine welcome as they displayed the colors of fall. For a guy like me who does this crazy hand tool woodworking thing all that I could think of is…there are some nice pieces of furniture in them there woods!

The travel gave forth to a quiet slower pace, although we had dark skies above us it absolutely embraced the colorful mountains and made for a warm mood made just for people who love nature. Things were different here, it was small towns of simple ways outlined with incredible backdrops of oil painting styled country landscapes.

The feeling was like taking a deep positive in breath and then releasing all the stresses of the day with a big exhale and smile.

Every time I see such things and experience nature with it’s towns people that live within it I am reminded of the great forgetfulness so many of us have on a daily basis. Many of us have lost the imagination and appreciation of inter being with the land of our planet. We all live on it, but some proceed rather ignorantly, walking too tall for their own shoes expecting applause for getting out of bed and making toast in their designer pajamas.

If you ever saw a dead person on the side of the road daily…like I see a Deer, Squirrel, Possum, or Raccoon would we not all be in total shock? What the hell happened to so many folks? The animals get run over left laying crushed in the roads and even many of the police act as if it’s too much of a nuisance to take care of the clean up showing no regard at all to the animal….wow.

In this neck of the woods that we traveled to they hunt, fish, craft, and work very hard. The key I believe to all of the above is that these activities are done with great reverence for everything. The people here wave when they do or do not know you. Walking along and seeing some of these folks reminded me of the roots within us all that may provide better outcomes in our daily lives.

Of course this can also be tough terrain with great amounts of heavy snowfall. So in regards to all of those large stashes of apple wood where this woodworker see’s some nice spoons….many of these folks feel the warmth these pieces will provide becoming fuel during a 20 degree 2 foot snowstorm while it burns in their fireplace.

All in all this last few days was a great motivator to inspire more of this country style sloyd craft such as creating spoons and eventually some bowls, hiking sticks, etc.

I feel lucky to have met Jenn’s family and be invited into their homes and take part in good times. It was refreshing to be around an atmosphere of things being simple and being more than enjoyable.

Of course it was a great reward to come home to such nice comments from my friends here on LJ’s as well. Embracing the modern day of technology is not all bad because it is amazing to have made such nice connections with so many talented woodworkers all over the world. I always appreciate you guys taking the time to add a comment or joke….it’s a nice thing that we can share our ideas and joy for woodwork. I thank all of you for that and helping me learn and grow in these crafts.

Too sum this blog epsiode up I might say that a few days involved with such an environment makes a kind humility and a sharper awareness of the beauty of our planets land. Perhaps the various human complexities of the worlds entropy is viewed as amazing theater to all these green pastures and large old trees. Either way visit our teachers in the forest and watch them heal your worries away.

Thoughts of days that were better, seem like a forgotten skill,
as I lay looking upward to the structure and shelters of the ever massive maples sill

These limbs and there lessons can confuse or embrace the rattled confidence of many,
they may scar our pride, challenge our hands or shape our greatest victory

Whether it gives the woodwork its rightful surprises or an artist the specific colors for success,
the tree and its leaning towers of nature always teach us best

The bark protecting those inner golden grains that my hatchet will soon hew,
unlocking puzzles my saw unravels it’s mysteries and it’s clues

The loner sits in dismay although forgetting the family of earth,
the meadows green and proud whispers a breeze upon his hurt,
Never no more have the lingering tear within your soul that burns,
look onward to the mountainside and feel my welcome world

Let my leaves give you hope, my fallen limbs may help you walk,
sleep at my strengthened roots while forgetting your worried thoughts

The loner is now no longer alone, the trees his friends the forest his home….

Thanks so much for stopping by!
More woodwork/handtool stuff soon!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

6 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7386 posts in 2868 days

#1 posted 10-09-2012 10:33 PM

What an inspiring post Joe. You really should write a book you know. You could call it ”Inspiration for Woodworkers – When you Need a Kick up the Arse.” :o)

On another note, is it just me or is this tree looking back at you? I can see two eyes, a nose and a moustache. SPOOKY!!!

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2865 days

#2 posted 10-10-2012 12:23 AM

First , Joe you have such a way with words.
Andy that is spooky.
Joe I read that to my wife, Thank You.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1073 posts in 3198 days

#3 posted 10-10-2012 01:17 AM

What a great post! I look forward to reading your blogs everytime i see a post. You have great talent with wood and words. Keep it up.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2627 days

#4 posted 10-10-2012 01:48 AM

Hey everyone, thanks for enjoying the post. I appreciate your kind words.

Andy, I thought all the trees have faces…

Best thoughts my friends, enjoy the grain!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2881 days

#5 posted 10-10-2012 06:36 AM

Joe, always enjoy the journey

thanks for sharing


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2829 days

#6 posted 10-15-2012 07:55 PM

Some very poetic and inspiring words of wisdom. Thnx

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics