For years, he has spent countless hours taking ordinary pieces of wood and turning them into gifts of love -- tables, toy chests, and for the past several years -- thousands of toy trucks and trains. In earlier years, his children and grandchildren were the lucky recipients of his creations. The majority of the vehicles he's made in recent years, however, have not stayed within the family -- or even within the United States. Most of them have been donated to children all around the world. For some, this handcrafted vehicle, lovingly fashioned by a man they will never meet, may be the only toy they will ever own.
This man is my husband's Grandpa Evans. When I asked him how many trucks and trains he has made over the last several years, he just smiled and told me he's never kept track. But, he figures it's probably more than 4,000.
Truly a labor of love for this selfless man who will turn 93 this year. He struggles with many of the aches, pains and difficulties that come with reaching that age. And yet, he still makes the trek across his backyard as often as he can to continue producing toys that will bring smiles to the faces of countless children.
It was my privilege to spend some time in Grandpa's workshop last week. Here are some shots of him in action, as well as some of the things he's created or that are in process.