Helper, Captain Morgan at the helm.

Captain Morgan at the helm.

I laid awake most of the night, tormented over breaking Cole’s old Coleman hatchet. Yeah, the one I hammered into a wet, rather green log until the head broke – right at the notch (so handy for pulling nails from construction wood).


The upset tortured me while I should have been sleeping. All. Week. Long.

Cole was completely cool about it. I systematically timed telling him I’d broken the hatchet he’d given me on our first cold morning here. The moment arrived as I presented him with a fine, shiny-new, Estwick Sportsman hatchet with all the bells and whistles.

I rarely get to give Cole anything of value. I was initially giddy until I jokingly said the words, “the hatchet you gave me… …worn out…” and “…broke.” Instantly his entire demeanor changed dramatically – merriment abandoned my presentation. His words, “…my grand pa’s hatchet… he’d used it for years…” shot the loss and hurt straight through me too.

I get it: My siblings and I inherited very few, mostly valueless, common things from our parents. Those humble heirlooms are precious to each of us. Destroying something invaluable from Cole sickened me.

After weeping privately I texted him “I’ll make it right somehow,” (forgetting he was working in town). I’ll never forget his immediate reply: “Oh stop it-only made me sad for a min-it has done its job for a long time.” And then moments later he texted he’d gotten more wood to get me through while the grove is still snowed under.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment…” *

While I may annoy Cole with more words than he prefers, I learn from him. Things like his grandfather – who cut wood into his nineties with that old model, Coleman hatchet are important to us both. Had I known, I would have retired the Coleman and bought the new ones immediately.

The experience stung us both, but to me it revealed the character beneath Cole’s cast iron veneer. He is a treasure indeed. I hope for more, far less painful lessons.

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21 (NLT)

*Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)



Filed under Notes from the Apex

19 responses to “Experience

  1. Pingback: Featured Posts – Share Your Post Links. | a cooking pot and twisted tales

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  4. I will not delve into what happened. Just great that Cole’s seems like a cool guy. Bless him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A good man, a beautiful story with nuggets of lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a lovely story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a beautiful story about a very good man!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This photo makes your Chi look so high! But then they think they are huge anyway😀 I have three of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How sad! I pray that grace will cover you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Anne. I felt ashamed, then horrible, and even angry he hadn’t told me more about the hatchet. But it’s like Kendra said, it’s stuff we won’t remember in heaven. Be blessed!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you for sharing this heart-felt writing. Lots of lessons and much to consider!

    Liked by 1 person

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