Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Birthday Larch

Drew's Birthday Larch
Enjoying His Gift
Chopping Larch
Helpful Wife
Freshly Chopped Larch
Chunks of ice growl as they slide down the metal roof of my house. The snow, freeze, melt cycle has sculpted monuments above my eaves and some are beginning to let go. Today, the sky is brilliant blue, the air cold and my wood wet.

Smoldering wood makes me long for spring more than any other reason at the moment. My hair is flecked with ashes from blowing at coals, as if my new workout includes deep inhalations with long blowing breaths. I pant before my open wood-stove trying to get orange coals to spark reluctant larch into flames.

Larch grows in the northern Rockies like a pine and sheds its needles like an aspen in autumn. The slopes seem full of dead trees in winter, but come spring larch brightens the forests with new green needles. Green needles are great; green wood, not so much.

Our grand pile of pine and birch did not last the winter. A few weeks ago, Todd bought us a pile of rounds. We like to split wood ourselves, and by "we," I mean Drew, my son-in-law. As the wood-dealer dumped rounds in our yard, Drew and Allison headed to Idaho.

Actually, we thought they were going winter-camping and were pleasantly surprised when they showed up at Elmira Pond. They were surprised too--we were in Couer D'Alene, 45 miles south. But Drew didn't miss the big pile of rounds in the yard, and over the phone we told him, "Happy birthday!"

The next morning, I rose to fix breakfast, hearing a steady whump outside. Drew was playing with his new gift, chopping the larch. In between meals, birthday cake and several rounds of Catan, Drew finished chopping all the rounds and his lovely wife helped to stack it all on our porch.

So while the wood has me attempting to breath fire, the memory of Drew's chopping his birthday gift leaves me warm.


  1. Sounds a little like a Larch Lamaze class there by your stove. Have you given birth to anything yet with those deep cleansing breaths? ;-)

    1. Yes, it is like Larch Lamaze! I smell like campfire and await the birth of a new beginning--in other words, I'm working on my novel revision...puffing away!

  2. Nothing like a surprise visitor getting the real surprise! I do believe Drew is one of a kind though. I don't know anyone else with such considerate son in law.

    1. Drew is great and he really does enjoy chopping wood. :-)

  3. Did you ever see the Monty Python skit where they would show several slides of unrelated items, then about every 3rd slide there would be a picture of a Larch tree and the narrator would say (in slow, modulated tones) ... 'The Larch!'. It was really funny at the time (many, many years ago). Anyway... glad Drew was such a help with the woodpile. What a dear he is. :)

    1. Oh, no! I never did see that one, but I love "Monty Python & The Holy Grail." Off to try and light...The Larch!