Thursday, January 8, 2009

Grandpa's Workshop

Pushing his wheeled walker, he opens the back door and shuffles across the grass to the workshop. Removing the padlock, he pulls open the steel door and flips on the light. The smell of freshly cut wood permeates the air, and tiny bits of sawdust glimmer and float in the sunlight streaming through the window.

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.



34 comments:

Alvord Photography said...

That is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing with us.

Janae said...

That is a great photo subject. Good job for capturing that. Your grandkids (yeah I said grandkids) will love to see those pictures and hear stories.

Tracy said...

What a lovely photo tribute. I hope that I'm still a contributor in life at age 93!

7EVANS said...

Oh, I love these pictures! And I LOVE what you wrote about Grandpa! He really is amazing! We'll need copies of these! :)
You have been a very busy lady! I can't believe you are almost caught up with all of your editing! Who's doing the laundry? lol!

Jackie's Shot said...

Just wonderful shots capturing those special moments. He looks awesome for 93. ~Jackie

Cari said...

Oh these shots are a treasure! Love them all. Great work!
Cari

Reds said...

Wow - 93 and he is still making toys! That is amazing! And what beautiful work he does!

CindyTykie said...

Fantastic tribute in pictures of an awesome man.

Cindi Koceich said...

Wow!!! Love your writing and what an amazing man he is!!! He has a crown of gold awaiting him in heaven!!

Kristina said...

Wow, what a great story. I love that last shot! So well written, by the way. Your words pulled me right in.

Becca said...

What a fabulous post! The photos are beautiful and truly tell a story! I just want to hug him! lol!

Melissa said...

Wow that's some handy work there! I have 2 uncles that love to wood work

Raechel said...

Wow, he's very skilled!!! What a meaningful and beautiful set!

bugg said...

So very cool. Great pictures and story to go along with them.

Mom2Drew said...

Omgosh...I'm totally speechless...totally. Wow.

Sharon said...

Very cool! Great photojournalism.

shirley said...

What a lovely testament and great pictures to go with a special man. Thanks for sharing his story.

Michelle Duckworth said...

That is great! What a wonderful man... and blessed at 93. What an inspiration for sure. And the pictures are fantastic... seriously took made my heart melt... it is such a heartfelt story. Thanks for sharing.

Anita said...

oh what precious photos to cherish!!

Lacy said...

Thank you so much for sharing...it brought a tear to my eye because you're Grandpa Evans reminds me of my Grandpa. Always selflessly giving no matter how much he hurts, or how weak he feels. Beautiful photos :)

Boston Family said...

Great shots. Love the last one with the little truck. so cute.

pat said...

Oh, what a wonderful thing he is doing! It just gives me chills to think of all the smiles he has brought to faces around the world. Nice photos, Margaret, and thank you for sharing this man with us!

pakosta said...

what an awesome story, gorgeous photos and can you please give that sweet loving little ol' guy a big hug from your fellow pea friend ?! what a sweetheart!!!!!!tara

Becky said...

What a wonderful post. You're a talented writer as well as photographer. But I guess you knew that since write for a living, right? :-)

Rachel said...

This just melts my heart. Such a wonderful photo tribute and story. This will be cherished for generations by your family. Great photos.

Steph said...

What touching photos and the story to go along with it! TFS.

Angela2932 said...

What a tribute to your grandfather. He sounds like a very giving, wise, man. I really like your compositions and DOF in these photos.

threehartmans said...

What a beautiful labor of love. He is a very special man for doing this, and the photos you've taken I'm sure will be treasured alway.

Linnao said...

Awesome! Lovely pictures and fantastic 'subject'

Jen said...

That is so beautiful. What an example he is!

Inkspots said...

OMG, I'm crying! Thank you so much for sharing these and the story of this amazing man. My grandfather had a workshop too, but by the time I had really gotten into photography, he had already passed. What precious memories you have here.

S.Kremer said...

Awwwww - what an amazing story:) Love the photos too:) tfs
Shawna

Ashley said...

OH WOW! What cherished memories you have here.

Bobbi said...

What an amazing guy! That is really so awesome what he is doing, and talented too. I loved the story and the pictures.