Cristina picked up the lone dinner plate that had an outdoor scene emblazoned on its face, that was lying on the auctioneer’s table. It displayed a brightly colored photographic view of a lake setting reminiscent of an old Hamm’s beer commercial. The view was from the shoreline, looking out over a lake with a 25-foot waterfall sending its root beer colored liquid passengers into the far end of the ‘sky blue waters.’ Hugging the perimeter was a collection of majestic white pines that stood sentry over the lake with a small patch of maples that somehow invaded the conifer’s domain. The time frame of the landscape spoke of late September as the sun directly overhead laid open the red leaves of the Acer Rubrums like a blood fountain. The six maples could only have been planted by an ancient settler who cleared the existing alpine at the time, put a cabin in the middle with the fallen logs and hand planted the maples. The shade in the summer would be a welcome relief and the barren limbs would orchestrate in the winter sun. Syrup was a spring gift to celebrate the end of animal trapping and the start of an adventurous journey to take them to the distant fur companies. Cristina could envision where the cabin once stood by the arc of the maples and believed the front door would face directly at the distant cascade. The cabin and its woodsman owner are long gone, but that plate told the story of a man’s life in a 12-inch circle. It was this tale of complete freedom in the wilderness, that beckoned the owner to take it home and perhaps have a hot meal served on very special occasions. Bread must have been the spoon to deliver the food to his mouth as the finish was pristine and no utensil scratches could be seen. The unknown dead man has joined the ancient trapper and together their experiences flow into that scene. Cristina pulled out a $5 bill and headed over to the auctioneer’s register with her new treasure. She wrapped it up just like a newborn baby. 

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