A Choice Cut on New Year’s Day

A freezing chill gripped the air—22 degrees to be exact. It was just after dawn on the first day of 2022. I was walking the neighborhood and somewhat following a salmon-bearing creek that flowed through the city until it emptied into the Willamette River.

Traces of snow remained on the ground. My mood flirted between melancholy and listlessness, but still I was outside trying to make something interesting happen. Nothing happens unless you move forward.

I came upon a culvert, stopped, looked down to the creek and beheld something so glorious, so unexpected, so magically Oregon: a log jam of at least a dozen choice cuts of grade A Oregon beaverwood. In the big city! They were all fresh, too!

O joy! Thank you Mother Nature. Thank you upstream Oregon beavers. You must have had one helluva party last night. Hungover for sure you bucktoothed revelers.

I simply had to start 2022 with a choice cut to add to my collection. I knew it would be a harbinger of great things to come. I clambered down the bank to the water’s edge using willows as handrails. Oh what a selection! Which one to choose! Should I take them all?

No. Only one. Don’t get greedy. Leave some for the other beaverwood connoisseurs.

Sure, the other beaverwood connoisseurs out there. How many are there?

It occurred to me that I was probably the only person in North America who was retrieving a choice cut of beaverwood to begin the New Year.

Why not? It’s better than watching a college football ball game.

I found my prize; a two-foot hunk about as thick as my upper leg. It would look fantastic displayed in the window sill, along with another beauty from a nearby river.

Walking home, I cradled it like a football. I passed a couple of other walkers and they shot me mystified looks. Oh well, just another urban freak, some nut.

Happy New Year!