This story starts in a cold freezing place where the wind blows hard and the deep snow is covered in a sheet of ice.
A mixture of large snowflakes and drizzle makes the roads as slick and greasy as a dirty pig pen on a farm. But for some reason this was the normal for people who live in the Yukon. The cold weather makes it a struggle for those who did not stock up for the winter. Smiddy had always made sure he was ready for the cold weather. This year was not like the others as he fell from the roof and broke his left foot.
He did his best to get flour, beans, rice, lard, sugar, coffee, powdered milk, three dozen canned veggies, canned potatoes, and some canned fruits for deserts. Smiddy had some smoked fish, deer, moose, elk, turkey and chicken. He had some chickens he kept in another part of his cabin so he would always have eggs. The pile of wood he would need to supply heat and ward off freezing to death, was not as big as it had been in the past. His wife Nanya had been chopping wood each day to help out, she was doing good but when the snow arrives it will be hard for her to retrieve logs from the forest.
Smiddy had a son in British Columbia who was coming with more supplies and oil for the lamps. He was coming any day and would help Nanya with the wood. The winters are always long and dangerous. Melting snow was the only way to get water to drink and cook with. There would be one more person to feed but, Smiddy did not seem to mind after all his son would keep spirits up on the freezing evenings. Will, his son was quite the comedian and always had Smiddy laughing till tears formed in his eyes.
Will, arrived by air plane with plenty goods plus a gift or two for mom and dad. Will got his dad a new pipe, with tobacco and he got his mom a pretty new dress. Dad was so pleased and mom was happy as she danced around the kitchen holding her dress in front of her. It wasn’t often that Will got to see his parents and to see them so excited made his heart feel warm. Will would stay till spring came then he would be able to fight back home.
At points during the winter, time just dragged along, almost like the clock had stopped. Then there were days when excitement revved up. Like the bear that came to visit, and Smiddy had to shoot him. Will and his dad skinned that bear and had fresh meat for a few days. The bear’s hide would be softened and used for a rug on the floor to keep toes warm and the dogs comfortable.
Smiddy’s foot was healing and he could walk on it with hardly a limp. One evening Smiddy pulled out the jug of moonshine, and Will took out his guitar, and mom her spoons. With a swig or two of the moonshine the music and singing was all you could her running through the forest. The fun kept going till the early dawn, leaving the entire family stretched out on the floor snoring so loud that not even a bear would come near the cabin.
Sleepy eyes began to open while staggering bodies headed for coffee. Their heads did not feel good at all, even with bags of ice on pounding heads. After eggs with bear sausage and lots of coffee, memories of the night before came flooding back. Laughing could be heard outside the cabin as the family revisited the past.
Before the family knew it the time came when will was heading back to his life in British Columbia. It was sad to see Will board the plane as tears were shed by all.
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Take care and be safe out there.