Sue's uncle was quite artistic and did a lot of wood carving in his day. I'm not sure where most of his work ended up since he did not have a family to pass it along to. He created many masks among other things, but we were unaware of this ↓ carving, which he could have created anytime from 25 to 75 years ago.
|Morton was Sue's maiden name, and this piece recently wound its way to her after her nephew, who still bore the name, Morton, died a few years ago.
The question was what to do with it. We have neither the space nor inclination to hang a wood carving that is more than a meter (or yard) long. Eventually, Sue thought about adding legs and turning it into a low table. When we ran into Al at the pharmacy, she asked him about whether the Men's Shed might take it on as a project.
|This is Al in the Shed. He was our neighbour for a number of years,
and he is still being quite active in in the community despite
being in his late eighties or even early nineties.
When the little project was completed, we headed over to the shed to pick it up and, of course, take some pictures.
In case are you are wondering, Men's Shed is international in scope after starting in Australia. These local gentlemen, among others, are part of the local Hackberry Men's Shed. There is an unusual stand of hackberry trees in our town, and it seems to be an appropriate name for a group that mostly works on wood projects.
Members don't have to be involved in woodworking, but it probably helps in this particular chapter. I have been told that I could be a part of this group, but I don't think my personality and interests would mesh very well.
There are several Men's Shed chapters, just in our little region. Maybe there is one near you. If not, perhaps you or someone you know might be interested in starting one.
The following description is from the Australian organization's website.
Most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions many do not take an interest in their own health and well-being. Unlike women, most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they usually don’t ask for help. Probably because of this, many men are less healthy than women, drink more, take more risks and suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression.
Relationship breakdown, retrenchment or early retirement from a job, loss of children following divorce, physical or mental illness are just some of the problems that men may find difficult to deal with on their own. Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive, contributing to your community, connecting with friends and maintaining an active body and mind. Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed provides a safe and busy environment where men can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship. And, importantly, there is no pressure.
Men can just come and have a yarn and a cuppa if that is all they’re looking for. Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life – the bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and would like something meaningful to do with that time. A good Men’s Shed has a Management Committee that has developed a safe and happy environment where men are welcome to work on community projects, specific Men’s Shed projects or a project of their choice in their own time and where the only ‘must’ is to observe safe working practices….all in a spirit of mateship. The Men’s Shed movement has now become one of the most powerful tools in addressing health and wellbeing and helping men to once again become valued and productive members of our community.