Almost as Tall as Dad

I married into the logging industry. I’m ashamed of not learning its value until I was in my early 20’s.

I didn’t grow up driving in my dad’s old truck at 4:30 on a frigid morning, driving over frozen ruts to the landing. My son has gotten to see this, all to often, hidden world of Vermont’s vanishing woodsmen.

He’s been a baby held in his Dad’s arms as a truck driver climbs down off his truck and laments the afternoon’s storm rolling in. He’s been a toddler sorting through rusty ratchet straps on the tailgate while Dad sharpens a saw. This sound sends shivers down my unacclimated spine, but to them it’s just a methodical, rhythmic pulse of necessity.

Seasons go by and now he stands, the crown of his hunter orange winter hat reaching his Dad’s shoulders quietly talking about board feet and what mills are still taking pulp.

The dry December air is diffused with the aroma of diesel fuel and fresh cut hemlock. It’s completely silent after the log truck leaves. They head back to the truck to drink their gas station coffee before they start to work in the woods.