Lately I have been a little "distracted." Lots of things have been happening, both good and bad, and I'm just not sure what the hell I'm doing with myself. While I sort that out…or try to at least, I had the opportunity to write my first editorial for Southern Loggin' Times. A serious reflection on the last year of my life. My first year in the woods.
And it was way harder than I ever thought it would be.
See, my entire world changed when I joined the editorial team at Hatton-Brown. I traded in my high heels for Wolverine men's work boots. My sundresses for good ole fashioned Levi 501's.
One of my favorite parts of this editorial was coming up with the following list: the twelve most important things the forestry industry (& my job) has taught me.
One: In the most simple of terms, the smell of pine mixed with diesel is wonderful. It reminds me why I love my job and I am grateful to have the chance to spend some time outside. It does some good for the soul.
Two: Loggers are some of the best people in the world. As a Louisiana logger once told me, there are many misconceptions about this industry, but the biggest one is what loggers are really like. We need to fight to change these misconceptions.
Three: Some words are interchangeable and commonly accepted to stand for other things. Some don't.
Four: There are some companies that really are the embodiment of everything I hate: greed, stupidity and stepping on the little guys to get ahead.
Five: I'm never going to not get lost. As a Mississippi logger put it, "you need to brush up on your left and your right."
Six: Faith is a wonderful thing. In the last year my faith has been revealed to me in ways I never thought possible.
Seven: I love the sound of a chain flail delimbinator. (Pictured above for you nonheavy machinery people.)
Eight: Sonic Drive-Thru is in fact delicious, but a small person such as myself should not eat it for eight out of eleven meals and not expect to get sick. Try out the meat and three place. It's worth it every single time.
Nine: This industry, unlike any I've been around before, is a family. People look out for each other.
Ten: The EPA needs to slow their F'n roll.
Eleven: My interviews are fun. I love getting to know this extended family I find myself a part of, and sharing their stories with me is an honor. But I also like to laugh a little in the process. And it is always, always okay to laugh at me. I’m still getting the hang of the woods and I’m bound to make a fool out of myself.
Twelve: Riding in a giant piece of equipment over a bunch of trees in seven feet deep water, sitting on the lap of the operator can make for an interesting conversation and can get you some great pictures. It can be a little awkward though, when climbing out.
I don't know what year two will bring for little Woods Barbie, but I can honestly say I can't wait to find out... and getting to this point, it's been a helluva ride.