written last Saturday
I sit here with Christmas music playing in the background, wassail simmering on the stove, and wait for my turn in the shower. I long to rest, but I don't want to until I have taken my turn at rinsing away the sap and smell of cedar.
Cedar is a beautiful smell, most anyone will tell you. But to our family, cedar is equal to money. Almost everything Carpenter does involves cedar somehow. When he built a garage for his dad, it's frame was made from cedar. When he needed a shed to house his wood, cedar was what he used for building, even the board siding. For his parents 40th anniversary, he made them a beautiful chest of cedar trimmed with walnut. And currently, his job is clearing cedar trees and some other kinds of trees out of pasture land.
Today, I took the kids to help him haul the cedar trees into piles. Muscles burning, heart pounding, I climbed the hills numerous time for another armful of cedar trees, hauling as many trees as possible with each trip. The arc became ever smaller with each pass I made. I looked over - the kids were talking and walking, not working super quickly and yet there was comradarie that I have been praying for.
While they were not working the areas I had dictated, I realized that I had been misunderstood. Even so, they were working, and that's what we were there for. I savored the quiet. They were far away and I couldn't even hear their chatter. Only the constant sound of the chainsaw in a nearby gulley, and the wind whistling in my ears, my ever-present companion. But to me, it was quiet.
Sometimes, as a mom, I simply enjoy the peace of no voices, it gives me such a great time and opportunity to think. I had a list of things I was thankful for: strength to help my man, my children getting along - somewhat, being with my man even though we weren't even talking I was working with him and I love that, my littlest ones were playing in the car with their coloring books and crayons.
We took lunch out to Carpenter and three of my boys. It was Sharpie and Jones' turn and Tank had asked to go along. Then we started helping haul the trees into piles. Some were no bigger than my hand and others were as big as I was. We only hauled what we could pull, drag or carry to the pile.
We had races. Everyone started at a certain point and run headlong over the hill to the gulley to put their tree/trees in the pile. Then we had Cedar Olympics. I gave a number of points (1,3,5 or 10) based on the size of the tree and when someone got to 50 points then we had a five minute break. And last we had a race to run around picking up all those trees that were worth one point that no one had wanted to carry because they weren't worth enough points.
So I came home and made some while the four finished up out there. Our recipe is 6 cups of brewed tea, 6 cups of cider, 3 cups of orange juice, 1 1/2 cups of lemonade, pour all into a stock pot. Then take sticks of cinnamon (6-9 sticks broken) and 3/4 t of whole cloves and tie in a cloth. Bring to a boil and simmer. I believe that "real" wassail has rum, but we have not ever tried that. I'm hoping that I won't get a sore throat that I felt starting out there.
Making the most of today,