Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Mountain Men and City "Lickers"
This family has been scurrying around like little woodland creatures preparing for the long winter ahead. I stock up the pantry, and freezers, and my husband stores up hay and wood. After church on Sunday, we went wood cutting. We're trying to get as many loads as we can before the snow flies. My husband is a slight firewood hoarder, and in his mind, a man can never have too much fuel for fires.
This year, he's taken his woodcutting strategy to new heights. Literally. Every single tree we've harvested has been standing dead. Normally we cut dead and down wood, so this has been quite an adventure. We all stand back as my husband cuts the base of the tree, and the kids yell, "TIMBERRRRRRR!!!" as it comes crashing down. I should have taken pictures, but I was too busy making sure everyone was alive and out of harm's way.
The tree we cut this weekend was so tall that even after splitting and stacking it carefully, we could only fit half of it in the truck. This means we'll have to take another trip to get the other half before someone else finds what my husband has proclaimed to be "The Perfect Log".
"The Perfect Log" is one that is completely dried out, has no rot, and splits in half with one swing of the maul. It can be burned immediately, and doesn't need any drying time on the stack. When you find a log like this, you don't want anyone else to get it.
Every person in the family is now a full-fledged member of the wood crew. My little lumberjacks help to roll the freshly cut rounds to the truck and set them up for splitting. After Dad comes around with the maul and makes quick work of the splitting, we stack it as high as possible in the truck.
Something about being in the woods on a crisp, autumn afternoon transforms all of my kids into mountain men. They look for squirrel caches, talk about hunting for elk, and use sticks as weapons. They lay down on the bare earth and watch the sun's light filter through the quaking yellow aspen leaves while they eat a quick snack and then it's back to work again.
As they methodically gather wood to bring to the truck, they talk of roasting meat on a stick, and sleeping under the stars. Then out of nowhere, our littlest proclaims, "If a man can't poop in the woods, that means he's a real city licker!"
Everyone drops what they were doing, and production comes to a screeching halt.
My husband looks at her."A What?"
"A City licker."
"You mean a city slicker?"
"Ya, that's what I said, a city licker."
"Well, I guess you're right about that!"
After 5 minutes of belly-aching laughter, we all returned to work.
Kids have the most bizzare observations of people. City folks and mountain folks have many differences, but evidently, in the mind of a kid, it all comes down to just one thing. If the forest is your bathroom, you can rest assured that you are a mountain man.
With the new definition of "City lickers" still fresh in our minds, we finished loading the truck and headed back to the house, chuckling all the way.
There's never a dull moment with kids around,