It’s Michelle’s birthday today. Aching as I am from fulfilling one of her birthday wishes, I can have no doubt that she’s cut out for homestead life.
When we asked what she wanted to do on her birthday, she had two ideas:
1. Go berry picking up the valley.
2. Fix the trail.
What, no fancy dinner in town? No Broadway shows? No spa treatment? No jewelry? Not my wife!
There’s a place on our trail where log rip-rap bridges a gap. This structure is old, long before our time, and has deteriorated a lot since we bought the homestead. For the last few years, more and more of the crosspieces, near 5-foot lengths of log 6 inches and less in diameter, have been breaking. That section of the trail is almost like walking over a cow grate now. None of us like it much, but Michelle has complained more than anyone else. It didn’t surprise me when she requested a day of trail work for her birthday, though it did alarm me.
The berry picking sounds much more fun, especially since it’s cool enough it might justify wearing some of our new gear when we go up the Kelsall. A picnic in the bush, picking berries and wandering around playing hide-and-seek sounds like much more fun than trail work.
Yesterday, a friend emailed and said she’d been thinking of going berry picking up the Kelsall, and did we want to go? We made that arrangement, and we were set. Even so, I’d already planned to go over to the problem spot on the trail and look around, to get my bearings on the project. Michelle and Aly agreed to go along; we walked up there, took some measurements, and got interested.
The next thing I knew, we were into it—chopping and hauling replacement logs, digging out the rot, wallowing around in the duff. At the end of the day we were beat, we smelled like mushrooms, and everyone needed a healthy dose of aspirin.
But, the trail’s almost done! Another couple of hours, and we’ll have a whole new trail section, better than before, and good for who knows how long. But, that’ll have to wait, because today we’re going berry picking.
Happy birthday, Dear!