Winnie the Pooh had The Hundred Acre Wood. For Alice in Wonderland and The Jabberwocky it was the Tulgey Wood. Then, of course, there’s Tiger Woods and his 3-wood (that would allegedly smash the windows of his SUV). The Hippies did Woodstock. There’s West Side Story’s Natalie Wood. There are woulds and would nots (and wood knots). John Wooden was the Wizard of Westwood. Robin Hood had Sherwood. Celebrities have Hollywood. Beaches have driftwood. And if you’re safe from harm, you’re out of the woods. With terminal cancer, we never really leave the woods. Instead, we’ve set up camp and made the woods our home.
Luckily, we’ve come prepared to live the rustic, woodsy lifestyle. Us kids were raised on a rural little farm that sat on the far end of an old dirt road (I guess you could say we lived in the backwoods). We ate what we grew—and what we raised. Our cow, T-Bone, fed the whole family for nearly a year. There were parrots, pigs and peacocks, turkeys and tortoises, hens and horses. I woke up early every morning so I could walk my goat before school. There were compost piles and earthworms, tangerines and avocados. My very favorite toy, a red ATV, was parked in the garage and the keys were in the pocket of my overalls. My pet rat, Templeton, could occasionally be seen wandering around the house of his own free will. And at dinner, we always checked our salads for a leftover caterpillar or snail, only to toss it out and keep eating. So yeah, the Nancarrows can do woods.
So here we are…together in the woods. Sometimes we strut along the outskirts, whistling carefree, arms swinging in the wooded air. Other times we stealthily make our way through the deepest, darkest parts, hoping not to wake menacing wild things lurking behind each wooden trunk.
We may never be out of the woods — but we’re here together and these woods have nothing on us.