Little Molly sleeping in the cradle. Seeing her brings back so many memories for me. I made this cradle with the help of a couple of good friends. I had bought the plans with the intention to make it for Danae, but couldn’t seem to find the time. Sorry Danae 🙁 By the time Melody came along it was done and ready for her.
I wanted to make it from poplar wood and asked my friend Mike Flannigan where I might find some that wouldn’t bee too expensive. Money was extremely tight back then. He said that he had a poplar log that was ready to mill. He took it to the mill to have it cut up and let me have my pick of the lumber. He only charged me what it cost him to have it milled. As you can see, it was beautiful wood with only a few knots or flaws.
It was called a “Noah’s Ark” cradle and included plans for converting it to a toy box. The toy box phase included a lid that looked like the top of the ark and rollers to push around like a ship on the sea. I never got around to finishing that part of it. In fact, as I got into the building of phase 1 of the cradle, I quickly realized that I needed help. My good friend, Jim Kassner volunteered to help me. I don’t know how many evenings and weekends we invested in the basement together (mine and his), but they are very pleasant memories. The end pieces were especially challenging. They are extremely thick and the wood was hard so it took a lot of sanding to shape the the curve properly. We used Jim’s joiner to trim the boards for the sides so they would fit together as one wide plank. I worked in the music repair shop at the time and used our paint spray booth to put on the finish.
I imagine that most people who look at her in the cradle see a beautiful baby and an interesting cradle. I see that and so much more… floods of wonderful memories of good friends, of having not nearly enough money to live on and of God’s provision in spite of us. Many children have slept in the cradle… their names are all written on the bottom. Now my grandchild is sleeping in it. How cool is that?! Add Molly Nicole to the cradle roster. May you have just as rich memories as mine when you are 50 and writing to your grandchild.