by Marc Cullison [mcullison.com]
Have you ever had one of those pissy-assed days? I just had one. It’s one of those that starts wrong, everything to do is wrong, and it just feels wrong.
We’re running low on firewood. It is not a necessity because we have central air-conditioning. But we use the fireplace to reduce our utility bill. It makes a significant difference when our electric coop sends us the statement each month during the winter. We had a good store of wood, but due to bad weather, priority projects, and other delays, I have not been out to cut much wood, lately. So, our supply is dwindling.
I started a cabinet building project in the garage several weeks ago. It has been put on hold because of the cold temperatures. Glue requires a somewhat warm environment to properly dry. I have heat in the garage, but it is a bit expensive to run for such menial tasks as glueing. So, it have let it sit idle.
We also have a leak in our water line somewhere in our yard. It’s been saturating the ground for several days, now. I have narrowed it down to a sixteen square foot area. The line is PVC, so in order to repair it, i will have to glue in a new section. Well, with the temperature staying at 32 degrees or less, that makes any repairs impossible. The cement requires a temperature of 40 degrees or more. And besides, it’s darned hard to dig frozen ground. So, cutting wood was the priority task for the day.
I located some trees that were already down and selected one of them in a pasture in which my brother-in-law keeps cattle. The gate is usually locked when cattle are present, so I took along our key for the series of gates to his fields. I loaded the car with the chains and equipment and off I went.
Once at the gate, the key did not fit the lock. So I parked the car at the side of the road and hoped no one would hit it on the way by. I lugged all of my equipment about a hundred yards to the tree, the cows keeping curious eyes on me. The tree looked decent enough, all of the limbs within easy reach and nothing dangerous. I pulled the rope on the saw and just as it tried to start, the rope jammed. I had to disassemble the starter rope assembly, rewind it, and put it back together. Then it took forever to get the blasted thing started again. By the way, I have a Husqvarna 435. It is 16″ lightweight saw. I like the thing, but it took a long time to figure out how to start it. I have just about mastered that, except when the starter rope jams.
With much patience, the saw did finally start and I began cutting. About a half hour into the job, I realized the tree was an elm. Well, I darned sure didn’t want a bunch of elm wood. It is hard to burn and turns to ash with no coals. So I abandoned the job and returned home. In the meantime, I had called a fellow about delivering some firewood. He had arranged to deliver it later int the day.
I now have a moderate supply of wood, enough to give me a cushion for cutting my own when the opportunity presents itself. I have calmed myself, now, and am relaxing while I write this blog. Tomorrow will be another contest with my saw in an attempt to cut wood. Another tree that is a post oak. Not great, but it will burn.
I am still keeping an eye on the invisible lake that is forming beneath my yard. Next weekend promises to be warmer. Maybe the ground will thaw and I can actually dig into it. Here’s hoping…