Sunday, March 04, 2007

The yard

We get an early start. There is plenty left to do. And my best girl is joining me, today! I’m back behind the controls of the stump grinder and Cindy is on clean up detail, hauling limbs and trimming up overgrown areas so I can find the hidden stumps.

At some point, I decide to hack down a smallish oak between our carport and the fence. It blocks the path to our backyard. And I’m tired of navigating around it with the trashcan at night. So OFF WIF ‘IS ‘EAD!

I get to chopping, eliminating the limbs and pruning it down to just the trunk. Little do I realize how much an eight foot length of 1’ trunk weighs. I should have known when I heard the dull thud of it striking the ground. But, I’m stupid on multiple levels. And before I think it through, I muscle up one end, creep under the middle of it, and hoist it up. Suddenly aware of the full weight of the thing slowly pressing me into the cold, soft earth.

There I was, squatting in the mud and sawdust and debris with at least two hundred pounds of freshly felled oak across my shoulders, harboring a mental dialogue something along the lines of:
Smart Jon: This is really REALLY stupid, you know.
Stupid Jon: No tree gets the better of me!
Smart Jon: Um, you are a computer jockey. You don’t work with trees.
Stupid Jon: I can do this!
Smart Jon: It isn’t worth blowing a disk in your back.
Stupid Jon: I go to the gym! I have muscles (somewhere!)
Smart Jon: You should cut this massive thing in half.
Stupid Jon: HULK SMASH!

But, of course, I clenched my jaw and stood up. Forced my legs to bear the weight. And step by step carried that tree trunk into the back yard. Onto the pile of limbs we’re hording for disposal next week. I actually slammed it down. Panting and sweating and savoring the moment. It didn’t wreck my back. It didn’t pull any muscles. It felt good. It felt like I was alive. And I could do anything: Grind a stump. Cut down trees. The Larch. The Sequoia. The Giant Redwood! The Mighty Oak! I could conquer them all. I could be a lumber jack!

And Cindy catches me with her eye. Plants her feet and points to the grinder, “Hey, quit playing! Get back to work, on the yard!”

Yes, honey.

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