Whittling in the Mountains

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

 Have you ever done any whittling? Do you even know what it means to whittle? I suppose a whittler could be making something out of the stick of wood he’s working over with a knife, but most of the time when a person is whittling, he’s just making wood shavings. Men are the ones I usually see working their knives on a piece of wood, but women can whittle too. I’ve even curled a few shavings off a piece of wood at times when one of my sons wanted to show off a new pocket knife. 

Do you have a pocket knife? For years, my mother had a miniature pocket knife about the size of a one inch safety pin in her coin purse. While a pocket knife is optional for a country girl, it’s almost as necessary as a comb to a country boy. Maybe more so. And for men who have reached the “let’s tell some stories” age, it’s indispensable. It keeps a man’s hands busy and his eyes occupied, but his ears are ready to listen. Plus, he can just think better when his hands are occupied. 

It’s almost a cliche to mention older men sitting on a bench outside a store talking and whittling away the afternoons. Those men have made many an appearance in books, movies, and t.v. shows. The image brings to mind a simpler time when life moved slower. Now we’re more apt to see men and women sitting with their phones in their hands checking out what’s going on all around the world instead of just watching what might be passing on the street in front of them while the wood shavings pile up around their feet. But is that progress? Well, maybe. At least for me. I’d probably just shave my finger with a whittling knife, but I can take pictures with the phone to share the places I’ve been. 

This week we went on our annual trip with my husband’s brothers and sister and their spouses to the Smoky Mountains. The weather was gorgeous, the leaves colorful, the food good and the company the best. A great way to catch up with what’s going on with our families. And the guys did a little tale telling and whittling. 

Thanks for reading, and now that I’m back from the mountains, I’ll get those books sent out to the winners of my giveaway.