X X V — — A Gift

by Susan G Holland

Ornate X carved from basswood panel

Twenty five years is a good amount of time to stay married, especially in the matrimonial environment of today.

A month or so before my eldest daughter and her husband’s 25th Wedding Anniversary I went to the craft store and bought three slabs of basswood, a straight grained and hard wood that can be carved as intricately as one likes.

It’s a good thing, too, because I chose an intricate project for the two love birds. I decided to do a relief carving of X, X, and V, Roman numerals for the number 25.

My neighbor came over to see what I was doing out beside our house in New Jersey and said his father loved to carve wood. Then he saw what I was doing and said WOW — that’s a lot more detailed than anything he ever tried.

Yes, detailed, and a true labor of love; all three letters carved with small hand tools. I got a nice suntan out there carving and sharpening and honing and carving some more. Then sanding without losing the edges. Fine sandpaper and then finer, and then extra fine sandpaper.

I decided to add color to the medieval looking letters, making them somewhat like the Calligraphy one sees on ancient manuscripts.

Then I sent the three pieces to my woodworker son on the West Coast where my three children live. My son said he would make a tray for these letters to be embedded in — and a beautiful tray he made.

This labor of love rests on a table by my daughter’s front door. It is just a little past this couple’s 35th Anniversary now. They are a wonder!

Here’s the tray.

Anniversary gift presented in 2007

They decided not to have a glass liner so they could use it safely for serving.
They wanted people to be able to feel the shapes. I suppose I will miss their 50th.

Still, it would be fun to go get some basswood and make an L. Maybe a round tray tucked away until their fiftieth, so my son can see that they get it.

Maybe a pretty little wall-hanging plaque with a golden L.

story and carving by Susan G Holland ©2017