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001 First Memories
002 Hampton Road
003 Cedar Wood
004 A Room Of My Own
005 School Days
006 My Friend Wayne
007 A Great Flood
008 My Mother Makes Biscuits
009 To Disneyland
010 We Go To Mexico
011 The Cabin In The Woods
012 We Go To Yosemite
013 Grandma Nelson
014 Nelson Nursery Early Years

I.B. Nelson according to himself

Cedar Wood

I.B. Nelson Cartoon commenting on the U.S.A. energy budget
©I.B. Nelson

Wood by the Truckload

Once, my father ordered a truck load of firewood that consisted of cedar blocks about four inches wide on each side and about ten inches long. We spent the better part of a day and into the evening filling wheelbarrows with the wooden chunks, which had been dumped in a huge pile in the driveway, then wheeling the barrows down along side the house on the left hand walk past the garage, across the patio, down the garden walk, through the archway in the tall fence that divided the long back yard into a front and rear section, and into the storage shed.

Dusty cobwebbed Shadows

It seemed to me that we burned those cedar chunks for half a lifetime, there were so many of them and they led to one of my most terrifying events as a child. For whatever reason, I had become deathly afraid of the dark. My father, very aware of that fear and, I think, disappointed that a son of his should have such a ridiculous fear, was determined to break me of it. I had gone out into the yard in the night with him for various errands; emptying the trash or bringing in armloads of firewood from the shed, a place that held for me the fear of the dark unknowns. I was convinced that there was some unseen and unknown yet truly terrible 'thing' in the darkness and within the dusty cobwebbed shadows of the shed that would 'get' me.

Retrieval

Then came the night that my father ordered me to retrieve some cedar blocks for the fire - alone. If I had been an ancient Greek required to retrieve some lost soul from the nether world of the dead while avoiding Cyberus, its roaring snapping bared-fanged multi-headed guardian dog, I could not have been more terrified. My father insisted; he would wait by the back door of the family room while I was torn to shreds and devoured by the darkling forces of the black night. Of course the back yard lights were on but that was little consolation. 'They' were there, waiting, slavering over 'their' rolling wicked hungry tongues. Wailing, I ran for dear life across the yard to the dark maw of the arch in the wall, came nearly to a screeching halt, drew one last breath on this side of the mortal veil, then catapulted myself into the darkness of the shed where certain death awaited.

Terrors of the Dark

I hurriedly threw several cedar blocks into the crook of my left arm, bashing my cheek bone in the process and dropping more than remained in my arm, then, unable to bear the cold wave of fear and the darkness any longer, careened as fast as my legs could carry me back into the house, running clear to the fireplace, dropping most of the wood along the way, flinging the two or three remaining blocks before the hearth. Waiting for me in the patio, my father came striding behind me, convinced I am sure that I was cured; I was not. It would now be many, many, many years before I could brave the terrors of the dark.