DIY





American Humor: The Secrets of Whittling Wood

The Last Laugh column shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor. Joe Novara shares his take on his hobby of whittling wood.

| April/May 2000

The last laugh column shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor with other MOTHER readers. Today we venture into the art of whittling wood.

Whittling a tune beats the sound of a table saw any day.

You've heard of Whistler's Mother? Well, if I had painted a picture of my mother, they would have called it Whittler's Mother, because I like to whittle.

Some folks whittle just to have something to do with their hands — a man's version of knitting is known as whittling wood. Except, instead of a sweater, they end up with a pile of kindling. Which isn't all bad when there's a stove or fireplace around. But since I installed a gas furnace I've had the warmest barn in the county, what with all the gunny sacks full of wood shavings lining the walls.



But I'm not just making wood chips when I whittle. I'm looking for something. I'm a firm believer that every stick has something inside it that wants to come out — even if it's only a thinner, slimmer version of itself. When I whittle a chunk of wood, it's like laying back in a fresh green field on a summer day and studying clouds to see what stories they have to tell. I slowly unwrap the bark cover, like a bride-to-be at a bridal shower, holding her breath, waiting to say oooh! Then I study the stick until I see something in the grain and the nubs and the knots — a bird or a troll or just a smooth and graceful shape.

One day my grandson Chunk stopped by. I like that name. His girlfriend gave it to him. She used to call him flunk until he put on a few extra pounds. I think he looks good with the extra insulation. I guess I've always seen a chubby man trying to get out of the skinny boy he used to be.






mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: September 14-16, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard