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Friday, February 3, 2012

Walking sticks

My brother in law always favored a stick for his walk with the dogs.  And it couldn’t be an art show without one wood worker who tucked some sticks in a corner of his booth. So, many, many weekends I worked with stick makers, and now Tom has a nice stick collection.  There are four holes left in the stick stand, so I didn’t overdo it.

The long slender bamboo stick in the front actually is a flute, and I got it from a flute maker who said it sounds best when you’re walking in an apple orchard.  Tom played the coronet in high school, and can get a tune from any instrument.  He’s played Mares Eat Oats on the flute for the grandkids, but it hasn’t been in an apple orchard yet.

There are walking sticks from the years Jan and I did the MetroPark trail hike in the fall.  The first year we got the stick, and a shield each year thereafter.  I have two more shields that never were put on my stick.  I don’t remember why we put cane tips on them; the trails weren’t slippery.  The tips have to be stored on the top for the ends to fit through the holes in the holder.

The shepherd’s crook used to hang over the studio door.  Jan used it to keep her fabric straight to cut for rag rugs.  There are tools and jigs for every job, and that staff was well used in the day.

And a cat who must know what's going on

The black cane is metal and belonged to my great grandfather Cox.  Mom used it.  I used it (new hip, knee repair).  Jan used it (knee repair).  We always know where to find it.

Bekka’s stick has a little bead figure on it.  That came from the shop of a good friend.  His mother made it.  Before I’m out of blog topics I need to write about Chris.  Or ask him to write a piece about his mom.  Bekka was two when she needed a stick for hikes.  Then we needed another little stick for Hamilton.  That’s the short cane.

When I saw the stick with the gear shift knob, I had to have it.  It’s been used, it has a serious dent in it.  But, it’s not a favorite of Tom’s. 

Tom’s favorite is the twisted root stick.  The carver left a band of bark spiraling down the stick.  I don’t remember picking that one, although I’m assured I brought it home.  Apparently it knew Tom’s name.


  1. Very nice collection. I like the one with the bark on it. I have my great grandmothers cane, she was a shortie like me, and sadly sometimes I have to use it.

  2. How lovely that every stick has a story. I like the look of the twisted one, but the crook probably just pips it for me!
    I have two sticks, one I got when I broke my ankle and the other I bought one year when there was an infestation of rats, I had to take it with me as a 'rat whacker' when I went walking the dogs along the farm tracks.

  3. I got a new hip installed the year before I went on a week's tour of Britain. I still had trouble walking as the other hip was in bad shape. I bought a collapsible
    black cane and remember trying to climb the hill at Edinburgh Castle with the darn thing clanking with every step. The handle hurt my hand. Then I bought a nice walking stick at the local Renaissance Fair with a sensible knob to hold. And, it's much classier looking!

  4. Those sticks all have a story to tell! I had quite a nice walking stick from Vermont that got lost on one of our cross-Canada moves!

  5. For years, my husby collected diamond willow sticks whenever we found a patch of the stuff. He made many, many walking sticks, but we still have a garage full of seasoned sticks, suitable for making more lovely walking sticks. He has quite a collection, too from around the world . . .

  6. my neighbor makes canes...His latest is the one with a whistle on the end...It's for that "I've fallen and I can't get up" issue...The walking stick tree is amazing and I may add to it when I go to Louisville, Ky in April..