August 2009
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Cutting wood up here is a year round pastime.  In the case of Adrias' hide out, we try and cut down trees upriver and then float a group of them down to the remains of the old dam. At that point its all about sawing them into shorter lengths, getting them inside, then cutting them into proper rounds, and splitting them.  It's one of those chores you frequently forget about because it's ingrained into your daily routine, like breathing.  You get up, feed the animals, split some wood, and end your day in the reverse order. In fact, it's amazing how much work there is to do that isn't about Adrias's teachings.    Living requires a substantial amount of daily effort.  Those not strong enough to meet the pace died long ago during the long dark. To make the time go by a little easier and to test our skills, we frequently set challenges for ourselves and bet against one another.  For instance, the last person to fell a tree picks the next one.  Then the person who has to cut it down picks where it will fall and the betting begins.  The general rule is it has to fall towards the river, not away.  Depending on the lean and location of a tree, it can be a real challenge to get it to even fall towards the river, much less pick the spot for it.  We also do the obligatory log rolling.  That is always a favorite once all the trees are cut down. The real challenge is guiding the log jam down the river.  In some spots there are still old pilings from where this was done centuries ago.  I guess some things never change.  In order to guide the logs, we float down alongside the jam.  It's a bit tricky, to ride a log down a river with a long pole to keep you standing upright on it.  All the while trying to prod other logs and keep them moving in something like an orderly fashion.  It's when we are in a big slow section of the river that we start trying to knock each other off the logs with our poles.  You don't want to come too close as some people will jump onto your log with you and then rush you to push you off.  We usually do this in teams of two, that way you can surround a person and knock them into the water.  Of course there's the occasional minor accident, like today when I accidentally brained Reyn with the end of my pole leaving a huge welt on his head that is still there hours later.  I'd do the nice thing and take him his dinner, but he's a bit dim-witted around women at the best of times and I'm afraid he would take it as a sign of affection. The last thing I need is that big oaf hanging around all puppy-eyed and stupid.  Like I said, I have enough work to do without that. We found the foundation of an old house today hidden under the leaves and loam of gods knows how many years. There  was an old trapdoor that still looked sealed, if not entirely rusted shut.  We were all excited about what might lie in that dark cellar.  We dug down around the foundation and found the old concrete extended a good many feet down, more than enough for a cellar.  Rather than break in crudly, and unprepared, we thought we would return tomorrow and do a proper job of exploration.  That will also let Adrias know what we are up to as sometimes he takes an interest in the relics of the past.  These things are usually a whole lot of rusted old cans and moldy stacks of what looks to be paper, but you never know.  It's easy to get excited about these things, as they are little windows into our past and we can find anything from small mirrors to functional old tech. I'd be happy to find a good old world steel double axe head.  It would make cutting down these trees go all the faster.

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