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Mon., Nov. 9, 2009, 2:29 a.m.

A vision of not that long ago…

Kashmiri woman gathers leaves for winter heating. Photo: AP (The Spokesman-Review)
Kashmiri woman gathers leaves for winter heating. Photo: AP (The Spokesman-Review)

Good morning, Netizens...

Picture Credit : AP/Mukhtar Khan

Has it been that long?

A Kashmiri woman gathers up leaves in Srinagar, India, Sunday. Kashmiris collect the leaves in the fall which are then burned in fire pots in winter to keep themselves warm.

It was slightly over a decade ago that I once gathered the maple and elm leaves from my Stevens County property down where the creek babbled among the rocks and built up a huge stockpile of leaves each fall as fire starters for the firewood I gathered each fall. I fondly remember gathering the leaves and firewood each fall, easily spending three or four days of each week working hard preparing for winter.

Then in the heart of winter, I always kept a nice fire going in the double barrel wood stove, which did an excellent job of keeping my cabin warm all winter long. Despite what Avista tries to tell those of us that have actually experienced living in the country, my heating costs in those days were scarcely half of what they are now, even including the cost of operating the wood splitter and maintenance. However, those quiet afternoons spent gathering leaves and wood were some of the most-introspective and calming times of my adult life.

For an unfortunately short period of time I could hold the world at bay, sitting atop a tree stump in the clearing amid my pile of leaves and my freshly-split firewood.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.