Within the span of a week, my elder son had his senior prom, became an Eagle Scout and graduated from high school. I don't know about him, but I am exhausted! Except for the prom, the events were the culmination of years of hard work on his part, and encouragement on our part (ok, maybe some serious shoving towards his goals!).
Officially, we had told him that our gift to him would be the elaborate (meaning expensive!) computer he needs for college. We were advised not to buy that until July though, because one bought in June would be old technology before school even started! We wanted to get him something he could have now, and also something that he could keep to remember these milestones.
I had seen some great handcrafted vine twisted walking sticks in The Shops at Fabian House in Bowie, Maryland. These sticks are all one of a kind, made with great care by John, a retired gentleman who finds the sticks on his regular walks from trees that have grown with a vine twisted into them. I spoke to John about making us a custom stick for our son- he agreed to embed pins with Boy Scout insignia on them into the stick. We met at the shop one day and he let me choose from an assortment of "raw" sticks he had that were waiting to become walking sticks. We all agreed that the best option was a fabulous maple stick he had found. He set in an Eagle Scout pin, one that shows the Boy Scout sign, a larger eagle pin and also a pin for Order of the Arrow. He did a fabulous job carving out the stick so the pins are set in. He peeled part of the bark away, and left some. He polished the stick to show off the wood to its best advantage. He added a leather string so it can be hung up on display.
Here is my son with his walking stick, and some closeups so you can see the details of the pins and the twists on the bark:
The stick is a fabulous reminder for him of his path to Eagle Scout, and a symbol that we hope will give him strength as he walks life's roads into his future.
If you are ever in Bowie, check out The Shops at Fabian House! They have a great selection of beautiful walking sticks, as well as antiques, books and an eclectic selection of gift items. You have to see it to believe it, I notice different things every time I go in there. Oh, and don't forget to have a great snack or lunch at the cafe - I am especially fond of the apple spinach salad. The cafe is vegetarian fare, but they have something for everyone!