The Old Mill Shack: Memories Soon To Be

Once a prospering production, the old lumber mill in the middle of nowhere, in far, far, far northern California (yes, there still is a place like that) is now a location for small lumber room projects and a place --- one of the few remaining nowadays to get good firewood. The old mill shack is where we usually get our already chopped and precut firewood (hunks of wood which have been turned into scraps from other projects). For some reason, this lumbering old building seems to possess a remarkable sensation when I am in it. It is immense, ramshackle and like most everything else in the old mill town, clunky and unkempt. One can see the sky through the crumbling roof and the decaying walls. It is very old, I believe, perhaps one of the original buildings on the site.

Yet I love to be inside it --- tossing hunks of oak and fir and madrone into the bed of our pick up truck --- in all kinds of weather, especially during impending snowstorms. This is always pleasant work and there are many fond memories of performing this particular, mundane wood gathering chore with my husband. As the world changes and grows for me, I realize that we may not be back here for a very long time and I want to make note of this special space, as I have an inexplicable affection for it.

The day that I chose to photograph the old mill shack was a gorgeous, sunny autumn one, which was certainly pleasing as well, even though there is definitely something to be said for the shelter this old shack provides during a glissading storm. One whole end of the structure is wide open, and the roof is partially gone, the walls are losing their rough hewn lumber panels and the windows are simply holes cut in the walls. In spite of all that it feels sturdy, harboring and somehow rustically lovely.

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