Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Slice of Maine

On the Sunday morning news, there was a blurb about a woodworking/hardware store that was having a grand opening. As part of the celebration local artisans were setting up their lathes and turning wooden bowls for charity. The sale of all the bowls will go to a local food bank. The prices were very reasonable. When my husband asked me what I would like to do for the day, I mentioned the bowls. Just before noon we were in the car headed for Portland.

Upon entering the store, the buzz of the lathes guided us toward the back of the building. Five middle aged to elderly men stood at their lathes turning bowls from chunks of maple, cherry, and other unidentified woods. A few patrons stood by witnessing a slice of a tree turn into a cherished heirloom. The bowls ranged in sizes of five to twelve inches in diameter.

My husband and I have many wooden bowls. There is the large antique salad bowl our sons purchased for me one Christmas, a chopping bowl that belonged to my husband’s mother, two bowls turned by an artisan in our neighboring town, and another that was a gift from a woodworker from the town we grew up in. The bowls are part of our every day cooking life. We love their shapes, texture, and grain.

On this outing, we purchased five bowls. Two are medium size, made from cherry, and have  pedestal bases. We will send them with love to our son and his partner in California. Three are on the smaller side, made from maple, and fit perfectly one within the other. We will send them with love to our son and future daughter-in-law in Pennsylvania. We hope when our boys reach for these bowls, for just a second, they think about their roots.


  1. They sound so beautiful. I would love to see them being made. Watching artists create their works is fascinating to me.

  2. They sound very beautiful. What great gifts of love you are sharing. I liked how you described this scene. Your ending tugged at my heart.

  3. What a lovely gift for your sons. Having bits of our roots around us reminds us of who we were...

  4. There is nothing better than handmade and especially from wood. My husband loves to work with wood, too. Sounds like your sons will cherish the bowls and both of you, too.

  5. I am in love with Maine. I've only been there once, but I carry that trip in my heart--it represents some of my fondest memories. Your slice really does Maine justice. I love the play on words at the end, "We hope when our boys reach for these bowls, for just a second, they think about their roots." The double meaning of the word "roots" (literal and figurative), was a beautiful way to use your words to tie the whole piece together. I will carry the image of this post in my heart for awhile...