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The Sentinel Oak's Journey

June 14, 2023

As of this writing, it has been 845 days since I was untethered from the soil that had sustained me for centuries. Now I have had the opportunity to travel beyond the horizon that surrounded me all those years. I have been transported on trucks, wagons, trailers and pickups. My limbs have been sawn into live-edge and dimensional lumber. My lumber was then air dried for over two years. Next, I was placed into kilns to dry. So I could be planed, shaped, sanded and finished. Being in the kilns was okay, but I prefer cooler temperatures.

So far, I have been turned into dining tables, coffee tables, end tables, mantels, picture frames, headboards, charcuterie boards, hair sticks, wall boards and quite a bit of sawdust. Even the sawdust doesn’t go to waste, local cattlemen use it to bed their cattle. I like that - more than once cattle found refuge from the sun beneath the shade of my branches.

Not long ago, a young lady received her first kiss and later a marriage proposal from that same young man beneath my canopy. I was elated that they wanted me to be a part of their story. Therese and Mark recently learned of these events from the young lady’s mother. They were delighted to hear the story.

Two large dining tables have been made by Amish craftsmen of my limbs so far. One is 48” x 96” and the other is 42” x 108”. Both have an epoxy “river” running end to end. The epoxy makes me look good. One of the tables is an anniversary present, the second has not yet found a home. After about 400 years, my limbs had become home to some insects that left some imperfections in my wood. The imperfections might have been a liability if not for colored epoxy. The epoxy turns an imperfect piece of lumber into a work of art. I am glad I lived long enough for technology to make me useful for furniture. Just look at my pictures…, I am impressed. Since there are so many finish, color and size options available, larger tables will only be built as custom orders so that purchasers can receive a table which meets their exact specifications.

So far furniture from my massive branches has traveled throughout Ohio to such destinations as Hamilton, Liberty Township, Huron, Haskins, Lima, Rawson, Perrysburg, Waterville, Woodville, Johnstown and Findlay. I had no idea Ohio was so big. Now I understand there are other states and countries that may also want some of my products. Wow - I am humbled - if Dad could see me now.

So many people I have come in contact with: Mark and Therese noticed that I had reached the end of my lifespan in an August 2020 visit. Not wanting me to go to waste, they extended my life by turning me into lumber. John came from Fredericksburg to skillfully harvest my lumber. John also milled my limbs into lumber. Darren also did some milling. Noah and Doug dried my lumber in their kilns. Mr. Miller and Doug planed my lumber. Menno and Doug are crafting furniture and other items. These people are craftsmen and have taken good care of me.

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