We were lucky enough to have Auntie Hellie and Uncle Samuel come for Christmas this year. We love those two so much! Before they came, we decided that we wanted to do some Holiday service while they were here. When we heard about an elderly widow in our congregation who needed wood to heat her home through the winter, we were excited to help. We never imagined that splitting and stacking the wood would be so magical and fun.
We drove way, way up into the Applegate to the Phelps' sprawling acreage. Then we hiked in to where the big, big oak tree had fallen. And while our friend, Leif, went to work with the chain saw, we kept the splitter busy. We made a huge pile of burnable logs. The sun sparkled over the hills, it was warm. Caroline took a nap in the back seat of the van. Nate and Samuel were just as brawny and manly as could be and Hellie and I swooned a bit watching them wield an ax and heft big logs :)
Henry and Lily LOVED it! Henry was in charge of manning the splitter (most amazing machine!) Lily took a few turns at that post, too. And she helped stack the logs after they were split. And then her adventurous side got the best of her and she had to go scout the treehouse. The property just begged to be explored - so much evidence of its past life - an abandoned trailer, an old dog house with the name 'Roudy' stamped across it, a fort way up in the treetop of an old oak, a tire swing suspended from its branch. I just basked in the wonder of it all, so thankful for the chance to be there working with my family, reminding myself of the kind of childhood I want to give my kids -- one much like the one I imagine the children who grew up on the Phelps' property had.
The woods are my favorite. I love the mountains and the wild air and the million little wonders.