It was a beautiful spring day here at Falling Downs. A little cool, but clear and lots of sunshine. It was the kind of day that makes you feel you'll be young forever.
I appreciate those days more than I used to. In fact, the older I get, I find I pretty much appreciate damned near everything more than I used to. Whoever it was that said "youth is wasted on the young" pretty much nailed it.
At thirty you tend to be anxious about shit like your job isn't working out, or your marriage isn't working out, or blah blah blah...
There's always something.
At sixty, if you can drag your ass out of bed in the morning without assistance, and eat and shit without assistance, well.... high five!
So I thought I'd take advantage of the fine weather and bring in a little wood for next winter. I've been going back and forth between the Poulan and the Stihl recently, mainly because I went through a spell where I incorrectly concluded the Stihl was pooched.
That was back in February, when I was desperately trying to keep ahead of the yawning appetite of the wood furnace, due to my showdown with the bitch at xxxx Fuel Supply Company who had insisted that I provide a current certificate of compliance for the oil furnace. By the way, I think I won that round. It's late April and we got through the worst winter in forever without a drop of furnace oil, and nobody froze to death.
But the experience did make us highly chain-saw dependant.
Therefore I pretty much had a panic attack the night I couldn't get the Stihl to fire up. Felt like there was no compression, and based on past experiences that generally means only one thing.
Time for a new chain-saw.
Or, time to fire up the Poulan.
I'm out in the garage in forty below rooting around for the Poulan, which hasn't been used for a couple years. Top her up with gas, prime that stupid little bulb five times (and it's amazing how they can make plastics that don't freeze solid at forty below) and by god if she didn't fire right up!
So the much maligned Poulan became the main saw around here for awhile, while at the back of my mind I toyed with the inevitability of taking the Stihl in for a professional diagnosis. I knew the news could only be bad, so I kept putting that off the way you put off taking a favourite hound to the vet when you know the diagnosis can only be bad.
Well, the day came when I felt I couldn't put it off any longer. Just before I put her in the truck for her last trip, I thought I'd give her one last try. On principle. Just to say I did everything I could.
Well, fuck me, she fired right up!
Due to the fact that the Poulan had filled in admirably in the absence of the Stihl, I didn't want to discard her entirely, so I've been going back and forth between the two recently. You want to avoid jealousy between the saws, after all.
Which is how I came to be clearing the south-west corner of the north-east woodlot this afternoon, right there above the bridge by Indian Creek. It's only good manners and good woodlot management to burn off the branches and whatnot that won't be firewood, so while I was falling and cutting and loading the truck I simultaneously had a good burn going.
Unlike in some years past, today's burn did not require the intervention of the township fire department, and I was thankful for that. I'm sure they were too.
There's something about spending a day in the fresh air that really makes you appreciate life. The day will come, all too soon, when I'll be warehoused in a "home."
There'll be no more walking the hounds.
No more dropping forty foot elms and hoping they don't land on the truck.
No more truck.
No more chainsaws.
Maybe I should be pro-active.
Maybe I should start up a "home" for folks who aren't ready to fade off quietly into that forever night.
Introducing the Gateway to Heavenly Downs.
Bring your hounds...
Our staff are specially trained in the care and maintenance of chainsaws.
We've got a garden plot round the back where you can grow what you will with the assistance of our highly trained Jamaican herbalists.
And if you and the 85 year old hottie in the next room want to spend some quality oinky-boinky time together, hey, that's your business, not ours.
And every April, we'll celebrate the turn of the seasons with a honkin' huge Heavenly Downs Fire-Department-invited-in-advance grass fire!
See ya soon!