Field and Forester
A Soil Conservation Service forester named Mitch eventually came out and walked the land with me. Mitch had grown up in far northern Maine, where the winters are even longer and colder than here. He said he liked working in Augusta because Kennebec County has three distinct microclimates, which made his job much more interesting.
My house was in the coldest of the three. Just my luck!
Mitch and I ended up getting together several times, mostly just to shoot the breeze. Somewhere along the way I wrote an op-ed about adjusting to life in a rural place, mentioning Mitch and describing the work he did and the knowledge he had tried to pass on to me. Then he moved to Alaska, and we never saw each other again.
Years later, a high school friend of mine who lives in Anchorage went to Juneau for a meeting. A woman whose office she visited had my column tacked to the wall: it turned out she was Mitch the forester’s wife.