Slow boat to China - Unexpected surprises in Africa

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Blog entry by Div posted 01-23-2011 06:13 PM 1659 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lumberjocks has introduced me to a number of new experiences and pleasures. One of them is the concept of cyberspace friendship. I became friends with people I have never met simply through PM’s!

Last weekend I found a box at the Post Office that had come all the way from America…I couldn’t wait to get home so I could open it!

And what was inside…? A brand new copy of the book, “The soul of the tree”, by George Nakashima. A book that I have wanted for a very long time! I first read some of George’s words in old woodworking magazines and it struck a chord with me. I have remembered and quoted those words often since but never had the opportunity to read the book…

There was more… An exquisite little grease box with a novel sliding dovetail lock! This little box was crafted from Gum and I am told that the original log was probably harvested in the 1930’s, then floated down the Suwannee River, headed for a sawmill. It must have sunk and got stuck in the river bottom from where it was eventually recovered in the 1980’s. Isn’t it just wonderful to have a little story behind a particular piece of wood!

There was more…Bars of fragrant home crafted soap, beautifully packaged. These were for the girls in my life; my wife and my two daughters. There were different fragrances, one smelling nicer than the next. Off course my angels were ecstatic; they love stuff to do with fragrance and the sense of smell.

We had Christmas twice. Our gifts was meant as Christmas presents, it was sent 2 weeks before, but we only received it, together with a Christmas card and a letter, middle January. Well, it is a long way from Florida to a little farm in the Outeniqua Mountains of South Africa…

My dear cyber friend Ken (LJ Schwieb), thank you so much to you and your wife for unexpected surprises, thoughtful gifts and a friendship across continents.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

14 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3540 days

#1 posted 01-23-2011 06:40 PM

what a wonderful gift …it really gladdens me to see the kindness and love that is shown through our lumber jock friends…i know you will enjoy your book and grease box as will your angles and there soap…and thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3093 days

#2 posted 01-23-2011 06:45 PM


-- 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 mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3326 days

#3 posted 01-23-2011 06:50 PM

Wauuu, that is the coolest grease box, and with a sliding lock (think also I heard some birds sing in Florida).
Yes christmas came twice.
So nice of you Ken, your heart is warm as the wood.
Best thoughts to both of you,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View stefang's profile


16209 posts in 3571 days

#4 posted 01-23-2011 06:56 PM

A wonderful story Div. It is amazing what the internet allows us to do nowadays. The youngsters probably take it for granted, but to older folks like myself it is a miracle. Being able to converse and make friends with others from around the world really does add an extra dimension to our lives. It seems like only yesterday when, as a boy in the early 1940’s I lived on my grandparents farm in Minnesota and listened to news of the world on a battery powered radio once a week. The net is having a most profound effect on our world.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3664 days

#5 posted 01-23-2011 07:22 PM

That’s wonderful
thanks for sharing that

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View patron's profile


13641 posts in 3578 days

#6 posted 01-23-2011 07:41 PM

i’m glad this finally arrived safely
and all in one piece
the ‘snail mail’ sure takes it’s sweet time

great little box

and perfume for the lady’s
we all know how they treasure that

good to have friends

well done !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3352 days

#7 posted 01-23-2011 08:01 PM

congratulation Div , from one great L J to another Great L J
what a wonderfull gift you and your girls have recieved
thank´s for sharing the story once more you have proffed you have
strong streetpoint´s among the savage´s…..LOL
as a reciever of a package myself not so long ago from David (Patron)
I know a little how speciel L J is and how great it is to make freindship
across the world
I know you will and is enjoying the gift , but still ENJOY :-)

what a nice gesture Ken

take care

View swirt's profile


3555 posts in 3209 days

#8 posted 01-23-2011 09:43 PM

Very cool gift. I like that clever sliding dovetail lock.

-- Galootish log blog,

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3343 days

#9 posted 01-23-2011 10:50 PM

AAhhh. Another wonderful Lumberjocks moment. Congratulations to both Div and Ken. The joy of giving and receiving is still alive and well.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3474 days

#10 posted 01-23-2011 11:02 PM

That’s a great gift. A little something for everybody in the family.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View tinnman65's profile


1364 posts in 3651 days

#11 posted 01-24-2011 02:32 AM

What a great post. People like that are one of the many reasons this is such a great site. Thanks for posting this!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4483 days

#12 posted 01-24-2011 06:27 PM

Over and over again we read about the wonderful people on this beautiful site. We are truly blessed, all of us, to have such great friends all over the world. Congrats to all of you on a job well done. Hands across the water, hearts across the world. God Bless, mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3177 days

#13 posted 01-24-2011 09:54 PM

Indeed we are blessed to be able to make wonderful friends through this site!

Thanks all for your comments!

Thanks again to Ken and Heidi.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Schwieb's profile


1877 posts in 3698 days

#14 posted 01-28-2011 02:38 PM

Well my friend, thank you for the kind words. It’s a small gesture but it does come from the heart. You can’t imaging; however, how anxious I have been to hear it had arrived and your reaction.

Best wishes, enjoy the gifts and keep working the wood.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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