Saturday, April 18, 2009

chop chop

I am so sore.

Here is my story.

This morning my mom and I went over to this older lady's house to work on her flowerbeds. From 9-11:30 we clawed up dirt, added fertilizer, and mixed it all in together. We measured afterwards and discovered we'd clawed over 100 feet of dirt -- and that doesn't even consider how far back we had to go (2 feet in some places, 5 in others.)

So naturally I came home covered in dirt. After a shower and a change of clothes, I was ready for an afternoon of relaxation. But alas, a few minutes later, my uncle showed up at our house. He had an axe and a chainsaw. Okay, that sounds like a serial killer movie waiting to happen. But it's all good. He was just here to chop wood.

Backstory: The other day, we done felled a tree. Well, we technically paid a guy to do it. It was a pine tree, 50+ feet tall, 34+ years old (we did some ring-countin') and it was leaning, so we had a tree expert come and he suggested we take it down before it fell on something like, oh I don't know... the neighborhood.

And so down it came. (It's the one on the left.) The branches were hauled away and the pieces of the trunk -- each about 2 feet tall and of varying diameters (anywhere from 1 foot to 2.5 feet, I'd say) -- remained in our yard for a few days.

So, at my mom's suggestion, her brother -- my aforementioned uncle -- came over to saw & chop the wood and haul it back to his place for firewood. And because I had the nerve to come out to the backyard to greet my uncle, a lightbulb went off in my mom's head. "Hey," she says. "Molly, you can help take the wood out to the pickup!" Conveniently enough, my mother was just about to leave for the rest of the afternoon.

And so, while my uncle chopped and sawed, I -- armed with a red wheelbarrow -- lugged wood from the back yard to the front yard and put it in the pickup truck... over and and over and over... until I finally filled up the back of the truck. It took about three hours, but here's what it looked like:

And there was still more wood left over!

I have about eight bruises on my leg and a fat lip. Don't ask.

And if I'm able to walk tomorrow, it'll be a miracle.

But I enjoyed it. I like doing hard work as long as it has a purpose. Not only do I get my exercise but I get to feel like I'm doing something meaningful. Shoveling snow gives me that kind of feeling, too. But ah, trees. The smell makes me want to go camping. And the sunscreen I wore today was the same kind I had when we went to PEI last year and now I'm yearning to go back.

Several pieces of the trunk were saved and will be incorporated into some kind of backyard sculpture my mother is allowing me to pursue for reasons I can not quite comprehend. The wood shavings (a result of the chainsaw's wrath) will be spread under our jungle gym to cushion any potential falls.

And so... even though the tree is no longer what it used to be -- tall, proud, green, prickly -- it will live on. Its parts will go to serve other purposes. Kind of like organ donation, only with more of a piney-fresh scent.