The Comfort Of Saw Dust

248802_10150605587525713_1240454_nAs a child I remember watching my Grandfather make a cutting board  in the garage.  He wouldn’t speak while he was cutting, he would just work and I would just stand there in awe. The smell of the saw dust in their garage always made me feel warm and comfy.

My Grandfather was a strong man. While living in Canada, he had a heart attack trying to lift the foundation of his house. He made wine in his home and he loved to play cards. He usually wore a flannel shirt of some kind and loved to fall asleep in his recliner.

When we moved to Nebraska, I didn’t get to see my Grandfather as much. I missed out on a lot of one-on-one time with him. In 2005 he was able to meet his Great-Grandchildren and even fed my daughter Alexa strawberries for the very first time.

In 2011 my Grandfather started having medical problems. I went with my Father to visit him in Canada, hoping that we would be able to see him before it was too late. I was able to spend time with him again in the garage. Even though he was in poor health, he still wanted to go do some work. He finished a cutting board and a picture frame for me. As I left,  I kissed and hugged him knowing that it may be the last time I would see him.


He was hospitalized in March, 2012. Knowing that he only had hours to live, I was able to talk to him by phone and tell him how much I loved him. After battling illness for several years, my Grandfather passed away on March 5, 2012. He was 93 years young.

As we gathered together with our family in Canada to say goodbye, we noticed that the coffin my Grandfather was laid to rest in looked like something he would have made himself.  The wood was so beautiful, so smooth. I was able to kiss him one last time and tuck a picture of my family into his pocket. I spoke at his funeral, telling his friends and family the story of how Jesus was also a carpenter and how Heaven just received another amazing carpenter. My Grandmother even gave me a flannel shirt of my Grandfathers, how I cherish that gift.

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This week, I was able to help a student in a woods class at school. I took a block of wood and helped create a race car for a boy who has special needs. I used a band saw and quietly concentrated on making the most beautiful cuts in the wood. I sanded it, shaped it and made it into something amazing. I smelled like saw dust and I felt warm and comfy again. When I got home, I took my Grandfathers shirt out of the closet and wrapped it around me. I know he would have been so proud of me for finally using a saw!

Thank you to my Grandfather and my Heavenly Father for showing me what it was like to be still and quiet so that whatever you touch can be made beautiful.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.


Your novice carpenter,

Carey Oswald


2 thoughts on “The Comfort Of Saw Dust

  1. Beautifully written, Carey! Your grandfather sounds a lot like my father! He’s a crafty man and I have spent many hours growing up watching and helping him with his many projects! Such great memories! Thanks!

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