If you’re like me, you never miss an opportunity to watch shows on Vikings, Knights or even Renaissance documentaries. Besides my attraction to pretty much any person yielding an ax or conquering unknown lands, one of my curiosities is how the most basic items are made.
I imagine the family dining table took Papa about 2 weeks to build, and wasn’t as discarded as our current IKEA merchandise seems to be. Also, with our detached society, we probably don’t even know where our chicken thighs comes from, or anything else in our house for that matter. One thing for sure, pretty much all pre-twentieth century societies benefited if there was a high lumber source near their village.
After 12 years of removing trees in our Bay Area, it always seemed a bit short sighted to grind everything to the mulch level just for ground cover. So, the last couple years we’ve been dabbling with certain logs that we just knew would make some Odin loving Viking’s day.
It’s amazing that once you started seeing the beauty of some of these trees, I was ready to redecorate my entire house and start growing a beard. I just couldn’t help but to feel more in tune with not only my trade and environment but even my community in which this tree grew for the last 100 years, pruned and watered by countless individuals, and now will end up in my home…and if done well, possibly my children’s home. Perhaps I was getting a bit ahead of myself in my New Yankee Workshop daydream, but the possibility was certainly there as the veil was more and more lifted.
Our Bay Area Climate allows numerous tree species to feel right at home and to thrive. Every day they are removed for various reasons and are usually donated for either fire wood, mulch and at worst, landfill.
Like most things in life, change doesn’t happen over night; but I can certainly say the last 15 months has changed the way I look at my neighborhood trees. Though not every tree is transformed into a family heirloom, I believe it is a step in the right direction. And as every Viking knows: to conquer new lands, it all begins with that first step.