The homes of his family and friends are full of gorgeous handmade pictures, furniture, and children's toys. As he and my grandmother traveled the world together, he collected wood from the countries he visited to use for future projects. The woodshop attached to my grandparents' home was his pride and joy and he treasured the time he spent there crafting gifts for the people he loved.
I miss my grandfather every day. His death in January 2007 was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. But I am comforted by the things in my home that remind me of him. The clown pictures that he was well known for.....
And recently, my mom brought me several wooden toys that he made for me when I was younger. They're waiting in Baby Peterson's room for her to be old enough to play with them.
One of the most treasured pieces my grandfather ever made, however, was a cradle that he completed in June 1978, 3 months before I was born.
This cradle is now 30 years old and has criss-crossed the country numerous times. Each time a new grandchild was born, it was packed up and sent to the expectant parents. Since my brother and I were here in Colorado, and my three cousins were born in Florida, that makes 4 cross-country trips! It's been with my Uncle Chet and Aunt Barbara since the youngest cousin Ali was born 22 years ago.
Plaques with our names and birthdates were placed on the cradle after each of our births.
Now that the next generation is on its way....this old cradle made the trip yet again. My uncle Ray built a VERY sturdy crate for it and it arrived on Hogan Court last week. Brian recruited some neighbors to help him break into the crate.
Ryan and Chris then got to work putting the pieces together to reassemble the cradle.
It didn't take long until it was in one piece and had taken its place in our living room.