EDMOND, OKLAHOMA -- As Fall leaves turn outside, Tim Grode turns inside. "It's my quiet time," he says.
When the world outside turns topsy turvy, this is where a busy doctor finds room to breathe. "That's the big part of it," he says of his woodworking shop in the woods. The solitude. You can't think of anything else or might be missing a finger."
He's a pulmonologist by trade, a specialist in the way lungs work. But the hands of this physician have several patients in this big OR.
While we were there he was just finishing up a jewelry shelf in one corner. His grandson is only 1 month old but Grode thought he might soon need a chest to put his toys in.
Every piece of wood, no matter how it's stacked, has a place. "It's like medicine sometimes," he says. "In the ICU you have to think fast, be meticulous, and you better be right."
He grew up on a farm in South Dakota. His dad made sure Tim knew how to build and fix things.
Medicine provided a path off the farm. Working with wood keeps his roots from withering. Grode says, "I'm not much of a TV watcher and if I hang around the house too much my wife starts asking me if I don't have something better to do."
What's nice about a diversion is that it helps the diverted feel a little better. What's nicer still is when something beautiful comes from it.
Dr. Tim Grode uses wood from all over the world and turns in into useful artwork. The hands that sometimes save lives, give life too in a very different way.
"My son-in-law sometimes laughs and says I'm releasing the spirit of the wood," he chuckles. "The wood will tell you what it wants to be."