Recently I was cutting down a few in the way and dead trees in my back yard. It was good hard work. At one point I went to the shed and grabbed a cant hook (a tool for rolling over logs). It belonged to my Grandpa Greenfield and reminds me of him every time I use it. I have a few more of his tools including his journeyman’s box he made to carry his tools as a journeyman carpenter in British Columbia in the 1920’s. I have a brace and bit that I think is from him (or Ray Crawford) and it takes me back to my days of tapping trees for making maple syrup in his sugar bush in Speyside. I used it to tap maple trees myself and I passed the love of making maple syrup to my girls and a number of friends and staff along the way.
I remember working in his shop, building one thing or another. It wasn’t always good, but it was a pleasure to spend time with him. He used to tell us stories about his life when he was younger. Sometimes we heard the stories repeatedly, but I loved them. Sure wish I could hear one now. I remember living at Camp Ambassador after high school before attending Ontario Bible College and going to visit him in the hospital every week. Those were special days for me. I also inherited a love for the game of cribbage and bridge, although grandpa usually insisted on playing cut-throat and I lost most of the time.
Grandpa’s tools remind me of him and what he has passed on to me along with my fond memories and the experiences I shared with him. I also remember summers spent at his house in Meaford, helping out with my cousin Ken, riding in great Uncle Bill's truck and driving it once. In the end, it was time spent with him that made the time special. It's all about relationships.
Elaine and I have passed good things down to our girls too including values, skills, and I trust a good godly example. My kids have a love for camp work and seeing kids and youth come into a relationship with Jesus. They also have an appreciate ion for maple syrup that came from a few generations back. I hope that one day my tools will bring back great memories for my family and one day my grand kids.