Back to the Woods

Back to the Woods

Well, it was that time of year when the Peanut Logger and his family took a trip to the woods. This was a double blessing because, not only did they love the deep green forest but it also meant a visit with the Woods family. Mr. Woods was his mom’s brother and the small town where the Woods family lived is where his mom had grown up. Uncle Red Woods, aunt Jewel and their four daughters still lived in the house his mom was raised in.

“Don’t forget your little chainsaw” called his mom as she tossed the sleeping bags into the car.

“That’s like saying don’t forget your toothbrush.  How could I do that?” asked the Peanut Logger, but he DID forget his toothbrush. After they got going he was so excited he “accidently” started his chainsaw right in the car.

Ruumm, ruumm went the little chainsaw.  LMNO was freaked but  his dad who was driving calmly said “Turn it off son. And open a window to let the smoke out.” 

His dad had made many exciting and dangerous inventions so he was not easily ruffled with the antics of an 8 inch, 8 year old boy!

After what seemed like 100 hours their mom said quietly “There it is, the Big River forest” Both the Peanut Logger and his brother LMNO hollered “YES, Big River, Big Big River. Yeahhh”


The Woods family lived deep in the woods so it was still about an hour away but the kids started asking “Are we almost there?”, to which the parents always answered “No, it’s still another hour” Five minutes later, when they asked again the parents said, “Sorry, now it’s two hours” and so, every time they asked another hour was added.  Finally, after what seemed to be 18 hours, they arrived at the little store which was near their destination.   

Everybody in their family loved the store because it had everything for living in the woods.  There was a whole counter of chainsaws, blujeans with red lining, wood stoves, flannel shirts, axes, blankets, hay bales, chicken feed…everything.  As they were walking in, their mom yelled out “BEANY” and ran over to hug one of the shoppers.  “It’s Beany Booth you guys” she called over her shoulder. “You remember ‘the Beanster’”  The boys dutifully shook hands and continued on with their shopping, leaving their mother happily talking with her buddy Beany.  The guys had become used to this kind of thing when they visited the town of Big River.  It seemed like their mom ALWAYS knew EVERYBODY and had to stop and chat.


Back at the car everyone was REALLY excited. Their mom was talking a mile a minute, their dad was nodding and smiling, LMNO was holding his breath and rolling the window up and down and the Peanut Logger “on accident” started up his little chainsaw, again. It was getting dark when they rolled into the driveway which had a mailbox that said “Woods”. 

When they jumped out of the car the first thing they noticed was the quiet – so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

“Nobody here” whispered  LMNO. “It’s so quiet and there’s no lights on at the house.”

“They’re here” said their Mom. “If I know my brother, they’re here all right”.

“Maybe they’re over at the mill” said the Peanut Logger. “I’ll go check”.

 “Hold on, now” said his father. “We’ll check at the mill tomorrow. NOW we’re going to the house.”  And with that, everybody stumbled off in the direction of the house.

“Shall I knock or what?” asked the dad but his wife just barged past, banged open the door and yelled “Anybody home?”. There was no sound at all. They waited. They held their breath, listening,  then she yelled again “Anybody here?”  


It was very quiet and dark – nobody answered.

“Well, I guess they forgot we were coming” said LMNO.

In the dark house somebody giggled. Then somebody else shushed the giggler. Then a whole bunch of voices yelled out “Nobody here!” and the lights turned on.

 There was the whole family, charging at them with outstretched arms, laughing and yelling. It was a wonderful reunion. 

The giant man with a big red beard roared “It’s my birthday. I’m 29.” This was their uncle Red, big Red Woods, their mom’s brother. “Mmm…said their mom and started counting on her fingers, checking the math. 

“Well, close” said auntie Jewel. “Girls, can you cut the cake, please?”


Four girls lunged at the drawer to get a knife. One fell down and acted like she was seriously wounded. One jerked open the drawer, one reached in, and one slammed the drawer on the last one’s finger. Tongues shot out, faces were made but somehow a cake knife found its way to Auntie Jewel.  “Jordy, will you please serve”  Now, Jordy was the oldest. She was 12, then her sister Amy, age 10, then Lee, age 8, then JJ, age 6.

To read the rest, buy the book. Ask for it at your local bookstore or get it in paperback on Amazon.