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Friday, October 21, 2011

Walking Sticks


Somewhere in South Africa - using a walking stick of course.

Odd block:    Have you ever seen a walking stick?

Other block:  I didn't even know they had feet.

Odd block:    Uh-oh, I know where this is going?

Other block:  Where?

Odd block:    Nowhere.

Other block:  Not a leg to stand on, eh?

Odd block:    Take a hike!

Other block:  Who? The walking stick?

Odd block:    I gotta get outta here.

Other block:  Don't forget the stick.

A walking stick is a unique item.  Here at home I keep a few walking sticks near the front door, and do use them when I go walking. Those have been made from different woods acquired from special places I have visited over the years in eastern Quebec and northwestern Maine.

Walking sticks bring back many memories. When I was young and would accompany my grandfather into the wilderness forests of the Eastern Quebec Appalachian Highlands, (which were his backyard) my grandfather would always remind me to never go into the woods without a walking stick. He never told me the reason, but I knew he was once lost in the woods for two days and walked out only after finding a familiar land mark.

Carrying a walking stick is a practice that has remained with me over the decades. When I am able to do some walking in the woods near home or hiking in the wilderness forests of Maine and New Hampshire, a favourite stick will accompany me. In doing so, I am also reminded of a verse from Psalm 23 “…for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”

My storage shed (next to the station) contains selected cuttings from tree branches (apple, plum and ash) which are drying out. To lessen the possibility of splitting, they do need to dry out and season for a few years, but one day I expect to make some of them into walking sticks.


The Oddblock Station Agent

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