Saturday, March 21, 2009

"The Ides of March" Shakespearean firewood

Meet our firewood crew for march...right to left, Zac (our eldest son), Radek (on loan from the university in Prague, Czecholslovakia to U.C. Berkeley to finish his P.H.D. in theatre), and Ryan (beloved friend of our family). Chemy the cat is on loan from the S.F. animal shelter. He apparently hitched a ride because he hadn't seen the Redwoods in any of his nine lives.

Not really certain what he saw when he observed those huge trees, but the light, and shadows, the shades of green, and the sheer magnitude of the scene must have been overwhelming in the 3-D vision of multi-colored eyes!

As is "normal" for March weather here, they worked in shirtless warmth, raingear, and even bundled up in the snow. Zac skidded extra logs on the dry days to provide for the days when it was too sloppy to use machinery.

The weather changes so quickly that we even got to load snow-covered wood in tee shirt conditions.
They shared the sawing and splitting in the beginning, but Radek preferred splitting rather than the noise of the chainsaw, and both Ryan and Radek preferred the maul to the hydralic splitter. (Ahh, youth!) Which left Zac doing most of the sawing, and all of the skidding.
We have enjoyed our peek behind the old iron curtain, and even more, seeing our lives through the eyes of Radek. He has traveled widely, is fluent in six languages, has experiences as playwright and theatrical performer, is a voracious reader, and is comfortable with hard work and simple living. His direct questions and honest observations often made us pause, and for our part, we took him to a cattlemen's dinner and dance, a biker-bar on live music night, twice,(Ryan was performing) a night of community theatre, and Zac kept him buried in rounds of wood to split.

The trio headed south this morning, and especially with Eric away at farrier school and Sarah in Las Vegas, the ranch seems a little empty. Empty, that is except for the 40+ cords of dry madrone firewood piled in all the flat spots around my shop! A great start on our season!


  1. I came over to read about the play. Although I never saw you all there. But I enjoyed the beautiful cat picture and the rest of the story about your firewood crew.

  2. Kids and their friends are always good for free labor, right? That seemed to be my parents' idea anyway.

  3. Kym, that cat was really unique. Radek said that he picked it at the shelter because it was the first to come to him and he has since traveled with it and the cat will wander around but always come back to where they are visiting. Very rare behavior for a cat. He also said it goes walking with him in San Fran.

    Momma Em, just to set the record straight we always compensate monetarily all of our workers. Firewood cutting is hard work.

  4. My daughter Pony Girl emailed me about the cat! My Lily looks just like the one your friend has. White, eyes the same color on same sides. She is on my blog, copperponyscowgirl. Enjoyed reading yours.

  5. That cat was beautiful!

  6. Yeah the cat was cute, but what caught my eye was that big beautiful log ready to be rounded out.

    I would have loved to watch Radek observing the local culture. I bet that was very interesting.

  7. What an awsome firewood crew!That is hard work, good thing they are young!

    Rick P.

  8. I love this--the strapping young men, the beautiful scenery. Blog posts don't get much better! I'd say you have some mighty special help out in your parts--even the imported ones! :)

    The time after all the work sounds like it was great as well.

  9. oh, and way cool picture of that cat. very beautiful.


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