Roughly September 15 to December 15 in the northern climate areas of our Chapel locations is our favorite time of year. Some of you know about our 'Cathedral of the Pines' outdoor prayer service venue in the northenmost part of Wisconsin. How joyous it is to sit on a felled log with the temperature at 38 degrees, looking out over a rustic lake with mist rising because the water temperature is warmer than the air temperature. Listening to wedges of high flying geese migrating south. Listening to the winds whispering in the tops of the 160 foot White Pines and watching the squirrels gathering winter food while chattering instructions to their families. Seeing the very last of the leaves falling off the oak, maple and aspen trees and walking through the fallen leaves that make up a multicolored carpet. Just relaxing and taking in all the sights, the sounds and the smells and having it so quiet at times, that all you can hear is your own heart beating.
Autumn in the northern hemisphere can be a real joy for the senses... so it is here in our back yard ( at least this part of the year. )
We live in an apartment down south, so I am not able to plant a fall garden anymore as I did when I had a house, and the cold air doesn't begin to arrive until around late October (or later). But to prepare, I go through everyone's wardrobe, pulling out things too small and season inappropriate. Then I pull out the sweaters and fill their drawers with winter clothing. I make sure all the winter blankets are available and clean after being stored all year. I make sure everyone has tennis shoes that fit, instead of just their summer sandals, and socks to go with them. I make sure the air filter is changed out and ready for the heater in the winter. (We have electric heat.) Other than these things, we are pretty much good to go. Every October we go to the Pumpkin patch and bring home pumpkins for decorating and cooking. Also in the fall and winter there are several occasions for celebrating our heritage at various festivals. Fall and Winter are two of may favorite seasons.
December 12, 1867.
It has been snowing now for 3 days and is blowing so bad that I can not see out the window in the office. It is getting deep and our only good coal shovel got broke a week ago and the blacksmith is trying to work on it. We have to shovel a path from the office and bunkhouse to the mess hall and stable.
This morning our cook treated us to eggs, pancakes, slab bacon, beans, potatoes, his famous cornmeal biscuits with gravy left over from last night and coffee. It is 9 degrees and the coffee sure warmed us all up.
Since we can not work in blowing snow this bad, a couple of the men went to the southeast to see if they could bag a couple grouse or a deer. Cookie said if they bring back some game, he will make up something special.
I am going to dress up warm and snowshoe over to Laona Junction to help cut wood for the engine. They were running a little low to keep the boiler hot. When I get back I will try to hitch up a team and get some of the new snow off the drag road between the spur line and the fellings that have to be loaded on the flatcars and taken down to Wabeno.
Respectfully wrote down, Sam - (edited for security), Section 112 Camp, (edited for security) - Lumber Company, Cavour, Wisconsin. December 12, 1867.