Gave away a pipe

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So... I managed to finish a couple of soapstone pipes and thought that I'd give one away to my old father.

Said and done, I finished a fancy gift box with the pipe, added some quality tobacco, a pipe tool and then a "blank" with a stem for him to finish himself if he wanted to, since he is a retiree with loads of time on his hands.

Went over there today and presented him with the gift and he was remarkably quiet. He opened the gift box and looked at the pipe and it took him a while to actually understand that I did it myself from the raw blocks of soapstone that I cut into rough blanks in his carport (open type garage without full walls) with his anglegrinder and a concrete cutting blade.
Then he opened the toby and smelled it and his only comment was "smells sweet", then he opened the bag with the blanks and the stem. He started asking a little about how I did the pipe and then he closed the whole bunch up and confusedly walked away coming back with photos from a recent funeral.
We talked a while and then I had to leave since my cold does not allow me to be up for long periods without coughing my tonsils out.

As you might understand by now the Swedish language have little time for "thank you" and "good work". We do have the phrases, but they are not widely used. We also have problems with "sorry" and "excuse me", making Swedes often seem very rude in other nationalities eyes.

As I said I went home, laid down for a while then attended to the washing of dishes that had been building up.
Suddenly my cell phone rings and it's my dad on the line. I smiled to myself and thought Ok, here comes the delayed "thank you" and I was right.
He began by disguising his call as to say that he met my far away cousins at the recent funeral and saying in an off way that they all said Hello to me and my sis... THEN it came pouring! :roflmao:

The pipe... I... How... It's damned near perfect. How did you do it?

I said thanks and explained to him again.

I... Well... It's very well finished... I cannot even grasp how you made it.
You know me, I know hard rough work but I could never do something like this... How did you...

And so it went on.
He stuttering out small phrases that can be interpreted as the closest thing a swede will ever come to "thank you"!
Me knowing my dad really well had a hard time keeping the smile off my face on the phone and took the off-way thanks for what it was. He was impressed and wanted to say so, but couldn't due to the minimalist nature of the Nordic use of superlatives especially when it comes to emotion.

Oh, my dad is an old Finn too which makes him even more allergic to giving compliments than the regular Swede. And you thought swedes were rude-ish!? -You have NO clue! :xd:

Anyway, the soapstone project is explained in the Pipe Maker's forum.
I'm attaching a picture of the finished gift box here so that you can see what he got!

I thought it was fun though!



Active Member
Not bad looking at all! :cheers:

My Dads the same way. From Scottish/Irish decent. "Thank you" and "Good job" rarely work their way into their dialog. :whistle:


Active Member
Great story! Thanks for sharing


Active Member
Nice story. I actually like very much how he said thanks (the comparisons of what he could do vs. what you did), esp. with your explanations.


There is nothing better in the world than to be able to give something from the heart to your Father that gets that kind of reaction from him.....well done


Active Member
Great story! A gift from the impressed your dad for sure. From the conversation you posted, I'd say he's right proud of his son.
:goodjob: :goodjob:
Thanks y'all.

He's never been proud of me except this one time when I worked as a Network Technician (IT/computer crapola) and started bringing in big money.
Too bad the job itself gave me a big depression and I just couldn't take it anymore and just quit it.

It was The Job Everyone Else Though I Should Keep and me coming to work with a shotgun and doing the boss in for good versus unemployment and a chance to do what makes me feel good and just scraping by.

The old man never looked at me the same again after that. Being the hard headed old geezer that he is he couldn't really grasp that I was super depressed and my days consisted of sleep, feeling miserable and going to the workplace that made me miserable...

Anyway, Yes. He was proud of me when I gave him the pipe and I really liked giving it to him.
He's always had doubts of my crafting abilities, since I don't keep up with him on the heavier side of body-work, but the pipe made him realize that not all need to be big-ass mountainmen that eat live bears for breakfast.

He's funny in a way though... least when you've known him as long as I have and have some sort of grip on how he functions internally! :yes:

Thanks again dudes!


Mike Pomery

Active Member
A posionous job will seep venom into your veins with each passing day, until you are a withered husk that has no more to give. You did well to get away, and I hope that understanding slowly wormed its way into your peer's minds, if only to lay there unannounced.


Moving mate. That pipe looks real good and the gift box is spot on. When someone that does not usually give credits do it in this way - you can bet he is proud of you.
And a job that kills your will to live is not worth any money. Brave choice to go against the tide and choose a more rewarding life. Hats off and a toast for you. :cheers:
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