If you have visited our home you know we have a trestle table in our dining room made from the oak of a tree I had taken down and milled years ago. Also the play house in the back yard came from that same tree.

I often think about the cycles of life... the acorn becomes the tree that becomes the table that lasts a few hundreds or thousands of years and then decays and becomes the humus that supports the growth of another acorn which then becomes the giving tree that becomes yet another table, or...

In any case wood has been a theme throughout my life, from climbing much higher in trees than was safe when I was all of 5 years old, trying to keep up with the older kids in the neighborhood, to working with friends doing cabinetmaking and carpentry, to pruning, cable-bracing, planting and removing trees as an adult. Wood from doing tree work became the bed we sleep in, the cradle that our younger children first slept in, the trim in an enclosed porch, and many other smaller projects.

As a neighbor was facing her demise she asked me to make a simple rectangular box of walnut to hold her ashes. I made two, one that is very plain with small knots and somewhat straight grain, and the other with larger knots and swirling grain patterns. She chose the more dramatic box, then turned to me and asked, "Pat, what will you do with the other box?" I answered that now, because of her, I was ready too, and someday we'd be "up that same tree".

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