My Hiking Stick

I've talked about Rook's Bluff before, a spot on the Choctawhatchee River that is very special to us.

The Island King's grandfather started taking him there to camp, fish and hunt when he was a little boy and once he met me I started going as well.

It's a place that we both love and in fact, named the Youngest Island Boy after the spot.

Quite a while back the Island King cut a piece of cypress from out in the swamp there and brought it home to make a hiking stick out of.

For me.

He varnished it and then went to work adding details that would make the stick special to me.

Of course there is a compass on the top because we all know my sense of direction is as bad as my baking.

Then he added 2 pearls and a topaz, which are my children's birthstones.

Below that, on one side, is a copper cross and on the other side is an intertwined Pisces symbol because both he and I are Pisces.

He wrapped copper around the spot where I hold the stick and then covered it with a thin parachute rope so it would be comfortable in my hand.

He wood burned vines with roses climbing the stick to represent love and family.

He wood burned our children's names into it.

As he was finishing the stick he asked what else I wanted on it.

I asked him to sum me up in one sentence and then put that.

Bless his heart - the first thing that came out of his mouth was
"I'm Lost - Help"

Naturally, that goes back to my lacking any sense of direction.

So he embedded jewels - long ones and short ones that spell out "I'm lost - help" in Morse code.

On the very bottom he added a rubber cane tip. That's to help keep me from slipping if I'm climbing something but it's also to protect the bottom of the stick from wearing.

My stick has now become one of my most treasured possessions.

He covered everything. God, my family and even Morse code in case I get lost.

You can buy all kinds of fancy hiking sticks but I've got to say - this one, cut from a place I love and then filled with reminders of what's important to me is the best stick I could ever ask for.

Thanks, babe!