Today was a celebration. Not that it was supposed to be, but it has become so. Not many celebrations begin with an early morning breakfast business meeting or prominently involve being with three wild kids younger than 5 years-old, working on a Saturday, flying squirrels, or fungi, but today did.

I am thankful that I am able to live in such a way as to enjoy the deep pleasures of being an artist/craftsman and a work-at-home dad. My son, Muir Jordan Snyder came into the world two months ago, joining Wren and Nell in siblinghood. In addition I’ve chosen to take at least a year off of my Ph.D program and pursue quality daddy-time- a decision made possible by your interest in Bloodroot, for which I am more humbled and grateful than I can express. Bloodroot has become my full-time work and is becoming much more than a nights and weekends affair for David as well. It has been such a pleasure falling-into this “career”. After 6 years of graduate school for my hobby to grow so much as to present a new path and save us from being early-careerist nomads like so much of our generation makes my breath come short in my chest.

A customer sent us a bunch of antler sheds for his order and extra, which we received today. Nell (2) helped me sort them (making big piles all over the shop and yard) while I marked the sections to cut out for handles. Each shed came off of a deer that would probably score on Boone and Crockett quite handsomely. Darn those Texas genetics. The chickens were out and dust-bathing on the dirt floor of the shop and cleaning up the ticks that have already become active. Later, when I went to feed the neighbors’ chickens for them while soothing Muir we took a detour back through the woods by the creek and picked up a few morels to add to some others I had gathered a few days before for our dinner. Some of my earliest memories are morel hunting with my parents in Michigan. It is the food of the gods.

After dinner I made a fire in our fire pit from the scraps of the spalted pecan we cut up for knife handles and the girls pulled up their folding chairs to enjoy it. At dusk Nell, in her mostly nonverbal way made it very clear that we needed to go to the steps on the deck that face the old water-oaks highlighted by light Western sky, all-together, so that we could watch the family of flying squirrels come out to play. It has become a ritual this last week. Tonight there were at least 7, running up the trees and gliding to the next. They have a specific pattern that they follow for the first 10 minutes or so after they leave the nest, following each other like they’re playing follow the leader. While we watched an American toad came out from his home under a pile of scrap wood and the girls got a good close look.

I am deeply satisfied with where we are and what we are doing with Bloodroot Blades. David is a remarkable friend and great partner. We hope that very soon he will be able to step out more fully into our craft like I have recently. 

Thank you all for making so much of this possible. Bloodroot has become a community, and we regularly feel the generosity of people around us, donating materials and encouraging us in our craft. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you all a little bit.