Being part of a new family, I get to experience new traditions. One of my favorite so far is having fondue on Christmas Eve. Jess and her family have been doing this for years, but it’s new to me, and it’s a lot of fun. What’s great about all this is I get to bring my family traditions and she gets to bring hers and every now-and-again we make new ones.
One tradition started two years ago has been sharpening our knives on Christmas. [I know I started talking about Jess here and “us”, but her Dad’s in the story so it counts.] We started this on a Christmas when both sides of the family were present for dinner at my in-laws’ house. My Dad suggested his knife needed sharpening and he had no stone to do this. My father-in-law of course had one and we retired to the garage while the women continued preparing in the kitchen. [Woman of the world, this technique of sending men to the garage is extremely effective in removing them from the kitchen for prolonged periods of time.] Now at this time, the three of us were carrying the same kind of Kershaw knife called the Chive. My father-in-law had the first one, and after I commented on it, he purchased one for me. He also bought one for my Dad after he commented on mine. [And I think both of them have purchased it for at least one other person, it’s that good.] I can honestly say it’s the first knife I ever carried on a regular basis. The one I had before this one lost its handle after about a week’s worth of use.
While no man really needs an excuse to visit the garage, this activity provides us with a good one. My father-in-law placed the stone on the workbench and we took turns sharpening our knives, testing the edge on our thumbs while another sharpened theirs. This past Christmas, my father once again recommended sharpening and thus the tradition lived on. This time we were at my house and I had no stone. My Dad planned ahead and purchased one for me a couple days earlier, anticipating the new Christmas tradition.
After we were all done, my father-in-law recommend I build a sharpening stone block to hold my new stone. We all agreed this was a good idea so I began a couple of days later. It’s just a piece of scrap plywood with a frame made of a pine strip I had leftover from the Radio Flyer rails project [update coming soon.] A few miter cuts on the table saw and some glue is all this took. After the glue dried, I finished with some light sanding to remove the excess. The open area at one end allows me to clamp the block down so it won’t slide around while in use.
This post let’s me print one of my favorite quotes. This was my Uncle Peanut’s response to the question posed by my Grandmother at the cabin. Jess and I were visiting Aunt Tessie for the weekend I believe and Granny had come for the day with Peanut. At some point Granny needed a knife to open a present or something. She asked across the room, “Peanut, you got your knife on ya?” He looked up from the chair and with a satisfaction in his voice he answered with a question, “I got my pants on don’t I?” This has become a “stupid question” answer for me and my wife ever since. If a stupid question is asked, and the response is a resounding “of course,” then you might hear us say, “I got my pants on, don’t I?”
P.S. It’s half time of the Ohio State/Florida game.
Ohio is down by 20 points and their band is playing “My Heart Will Go On.” They deserve to lose.