• Randy Ballard


I’m not opposed to technology, nor am I afraid of it. I’m just not very good at it! You know those folks that have to get the latest phone or computer as soon as it comes out? Well, that’s not me. I recently took my computer to a repair shop because it was painfully slow. The fellow checked it out and said, “Sir, there’s nothing wrong with this computer. It’s just old and you need to buy a new one!” Come to think of it, that computer was given to me by someone who was replacing it with something newer and better. And that was seven years ago!

Modern technology is great. I’ve flown hundreds of thousands of miles in commercial airplanes. I’ve visited loved ones in the hospital who were hooked up to all kinds of fancy, life-saving equipment. And yes, I even carry a “relatively” new cell phone. We are blessed to live in an age that provides us access to these marvelous inventions.

The problem is so much of technology feels “cold”. It disconnects us. It helps us do things faster and easier and more independently. But it also demands our attention and drags us (often kicking and screaming) into a rapidly approaching future. And for some of us that’s an uncomfortable feeling. We long for the days when things moved slower, and we were closer to other people.

Do you have fond memories of those days? Can you call to mind a certain house you lived in or visited? Do you remember specific smells, a particular item of furniture, a favorite view or activity? I don’t know about you but it’s getting easier for me to drift off into the long ago. I think about family gatherings with aunts and uncles, most no longer living. I remember the corn casserole my grandma made. I recall sledding down snow covered hills in Iowa with my cousins, and fishing in the Gulf of Mexico about an hour from where we lived. I can vividly see my dad, with the binoculars around his neck, taking us to a professional baseball game. What kinds of things are you remembering right now?

I think that’s what makes our Reclaimed Barnwood urns so popular. We’re surrounded by things that are new and slick and fast. That’s fine, but sometimes we want to slow down and reminisce. A piece of wood that has been part of a barn for generations, that has been shaped and colored by years of exposure to the elements, and that exhibits nail holes where something or other was attached has a character and beauty all its own. And when that wood is carefully and lovingly crafted using traditional techniques it only adds to the charm.

Our loved ones have weathered life’s storms. They have some scars. There is beauty in a wrinkled face and stooped body. To me, an urn made of reclaimed barn wood honors that and preserves golden memories.

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