Art D.I.Y. Stories

Firewood Treasure Box

I have have stack of lumber behind my shed from a recent porch build here at my home. The stack has an assortment of pieces in sizes and shapes. There is some thick posts like 4X4 and some 6X6, and a large assortment of 2X6, 2X8 scrap sections on the pile. I keep thinking I will come up with some ingenious “re-use” project for most of it before it becomes aged fire pit food.

While I was staring at it a few days ago, and looking past it down to the fence line I saw a stack of hardwood. Those log sections were circular cut by a county chainsaw crew after a storm eroded the creek bank enough to fell them across the stream in my back yard. They quickly came and removed the obstruction from the FEMA managed flow and stacked the wood for me. Now what am I going to do with those thick cylindrical log sections? I do not know. Maybe it is just good firewood.

Pay It Forward

As those thoughts ran through my head I remembered this short story from a few years ago and thought to share it again.

Several years ago during the winter holidays, I was hosting the “Kebari Material Gift Exchange” in the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers (ATA) Facebook group. It turns out that one participants had life events that slowed the sending of one of the packages. I stepped in and sent out a second set to the recipient to make sure that no tier was omitted. It is second nature for the active people in ATA to help out when called; we take care of each other. That is what you do in a community.

Firewood Treasure Box - Jason Sparks - Tenkara Angler - Box

Good People are Good People.

That gesture was appreciated. A short time later a small unexpected package arrived in my mailbox. What was inside just kind of blew me away. I still remember softly rubbing my fingers over it while reading the accompanying letter. In disbelief, I was nearly saying out loud “but how?” Inside the cardboard box was a small handcrafted vessel with a sliding top. The letter stated that it had been crafted from a piece of oak firewood. Dang firewood!

What is Inside?

The top of the box slid out at the end. Take a gander at what is tucked nicely under the snug lid. Do you know what these are?This craftmanship is special. These are more important than anything coming out of a factory. It is beautiful as I am very sure you can tell. It is silky and fine.

Firewood Treasure Box - Jason Sparks - Tenkara Angler - Holders


This fish shaped pieces are line holders. You hang your fly hook over the small bar in the center oval, wind your line end over end around the shuttle, and keep it stored in the box. You can have different line materials and different lengths rigged and ready for your time on the water. This is a treasure.

Firewood to Flybox

When it happened, I am sure I downplayed what little effort it took on my part to outfit a small box of fly tying materials and send it out for the swap. It the good spirit of what we were doing, it was no extra effort at all. The time and effort that Daniel Seibert put into crafting this device may have been downplayed by him as well. However, we all know better. This unique little project from his hands isn’t so “little” in my memory.

There I was just staring at a pile of scrap wood in my backyard… and this masterpiece came back to live in my thoughts. It is not likely I have any handy-craft of this magnitude in that pile of wood coming from me. I’ll just revel in the glory that I already have in my hand. You know, “bird in hand” and all that.


Some portions of this article were originally posted Feb 22, 2016 in the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Facebook group.

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