It’s quiet, cold and crisp. You can feel the moisture in the air. Branches are broken, redwood needles have fallen on the forest floor and sprouting new shoots.
The size of the trees are amazing.
Tall. Massive. Ancient. Graceful.
Northern California is famous for a lot of things, but the most amazing thing about my home town are the Redwood forests. I have so many memories growing up, playing and hiking in the woods. Piling up in my dad’s Datsun pickup and going out to ‘make wood’ for the woodpile, wood that my grandmother would quickly go through burning in our fireplace the following week.
These are the same redwoods that fed our family, because my father also worked in the ‘Mill’ my entire childhood. Everyday he’d get up, get ready for work and leave at some god-awful time, just to return three minutes after the noon whistle would blow, for lunch. Soup and a sandwich.
Then he’d go back and come home at 5 pm. Dirty, sweaty and smelly.
And he’d get back up in the morning and do it all over again. Because that’s just what you did back then.
He did this everyday until the mill closed down…it’s been quite a few years now, exact date I’m not sure on.
No noon whistle.
Our town hasn’t been the same since.
And neither has my dad.