Monday, October 22, 2007

Boys weekend - Cutting Wood

This weekend was in stark contrast to last weekend... In weather, activities, and company, etc.

Saturday I woke up when I heard Skagit at 6:30am. I took her outside and saw the most beautiful clear starry sky. Orion was out and in a matter of minutes I saw five shooting stars. Jeff joined us but the shooting star display was over. It was a chilly morning, at 28 degrees, and once the sun rose we noticed there was also a dusting of snow on the ground. We got the place warmed up again fast, and had a delicious breakfast before heading out for the day.

We met over at our friends Jason and Karen's place at 9:30 to cut some firewood. The workers were Mark Tabert (aka Tabert) and his father Bob, Wilson Bordner (aka Bordner), Jason Ayers, Jeff and I.
During the day I couldn't help but compare my two weekends, and the two experiences. Last week I was chillin' with some girls next to the Dearborn river during an Indian summer afternoon....this weekend one minute it is snowing, the next minute clear (but much colder as a whole).

The other differences I noticed were the ones that make it a boy's weekend and not a girl's weekend. Of course, there are always the dirty jokes, the spitting chew, the calling each other by the last name, the 'manly' chainsaws, tractor, splitter, pickup trucks, oil, gas, trailers, etc.

It was so much fun watching the dead trees come down, I have to admit. I did not operate a chainsaw, but I watched as they all swarmed around to delimb and figure out how the tree would fall by how they cut it at the base.

We had a perfect system worked out and by midday we were a well-oiled machine. Two or three guys would take a tree down, then Jason would come around with his old Ford Tractor to haul the delimbed tree over to the staging area near the vehicles. Once there the we measured off the trees marking where we wanted them to be cut. In Wilson's case he wanted 12 inch pieces, in Jeff and my case we measured off pieces that would fit in our wood stove (roughly 18 inches), Tabert didn't care what size his pieces were. Then is where the manly fun began - Every man would grab his chainsaw and start sawing the logs until they were ready for the splitter. Wilson operated the splitter for a while then Jason and I switched off a little.

My main jobs throughout the day included measuring, throwing branches (that had been chainsawed off) into brush piles, loading and unloading wood from our wheelbarrow into our truck and Wilson's trailer, operating the splitter, bossing Jeff around a little (I begged him to chainsaw these big pieces together so that we could make six fire ring benches), and keeping tabs on Skagit so she didn't get hit by a falling tree or something.

Strangely, I fit in nicely with the rest of the gang. It goes down as one of my favorite days of the year....cutting wood with the boys.

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