Thursday, June 12, 2014

got wood?

It is done.   Thank heavens it was done just hours before a horrendous wind storm hit our area two evenings ago.  It wasn’t a tornado, but it was a scary storm with wild lightning and high winds.  I had called tree trimmers weeks ago and they just showed up Monday morning without calling ahead.  The sky looked threatening that morning and I thought, “Oh great, they’re showing up to start the job so it can be rained out, so they can string me along while they start other jobs.”  Yeah, I know how these guys work.
I locked Gracie in the garage because one of the men was afraid of her.  Gracie doesn’t like strangers so she barks menacingly.  The fur stands up on her back which makes her look somewhat deformed and more vicious.   I discussed the job with the men, pointing out the limbs and trees they were to remove, and then headed off for work.  It looked overcast all day and sprinkled rain off and on, but the job was not rained out and was completely done by the time I got home from work.
It was quite a shock to come home and see the change created by trimming away limbs and cutting trees.  We lost a lot of privacy, but now maybe we can get grass to grow in the front yard, the apple tree may do better, and we have less worries about a tree falling on the house.  Indeed, the storm may have caused our cracked tree to split completely and do some major damage to our house.

Someone and I were playing golf Monday evening when the storm hit.  The sky was overcast and the course was not too crowded.  I was having a great round of golf – just 4 over par after the first 9 holes which is really good for me these days.  The sky was getting darker as we finished the 9th hole.  We debated playing the first 9 again because nobody was on #1 tee and the front is closer to the clubhouse and parking lot, but Someone was also playing well, and we both really wanted to play the whole course.
With thunder rumbling far in the distance and the sky turning an eerie yellow in the east, Someone and I headed down the hill and across the road over to #10 tee.  We felt a few sprinkles of rain, but finished 10 through 13 without care.  As we walked off the #13 green, I noticed we seemed to have the course almost exclusively to ourselves.  Most people had sense to leave, but we, in our infinite stupidity, were marveling at our dual birdies…much like the priest in Caddyshack who wouldn’t quit in the midst of a bad storm because he was having the round of a lifetime.   I remarked that maybe we should get back to the clubhouse because the thunder was definitely getting louder.  Someone reluctantly agreed and suggested we play #18 on the way in.  “Yeah, let’s do it!” I said. 
The wind started to gust as Someone hit his tee shot –straight down the middle which is kind of unusual for him because he usually fades (or slices).  He was well pleased.  I stepped up to the tee box knowing it didn’t matter what happened because the round was incomplete.  I let it rip and WOW…it was one of the best drives I’ve ever hit.  It had just that little bit of draw that makes the ball hit the ground and keep rolling.  It was low off the tee; right down the pipe.  WooHoo!!  It rolled at least 50 yards past Someone’s ball and stopped just 80 yards or so short of the green.  As we drove the cart toward our balls, there was a flash of lightning and a deafening BANG – lightning hit a tree somewhere close by.  We scooped up our balls and headed in.

We unloaded our clubs, parked the cart, changed shoes, and no more than got into our car when the heavens opened the floodgates.  Down pouring rain, buckets of it.  We sat there a few minutes waiting to see if it would let up.  Someone got impatient and off we went.  Just a mile down the road, it became nearly impossible to see.  Wind was blowing limbs through the air; some were hitting our car.  Finally, someone found a place to pull off the road and we sat for 20 minutes.  The rain slacked up and we headed home.  The roads were like an obstacle course with big limbs scattered around.  We saw uprooted trees and pine trees with the tops snapped off.  Some roads were closed because trees had fallen across, and there were several wrecks.  We had to turn around and reroute several times.  It was a stressful and long drive to say the least, but we finally made it home.
So, it was good fortune that we lost only a few tree limbs in the storm.  All the tree trimmer businesses are going to be very busy for the next month, but our work is done.  Well, not really.  The trimmers hauled away all the branches but left the wood because I wanted it for firewood.  Yeah, so there’s some major log splitting to be done.  For now, I’m just moving the logs that are small enough to lift and stacking them out of the way.  It’s hard work!  Harder than I remember it being, but I’m a lot older now than the last time I split and stacked wood.  I will have to split the big logs right where they are.  This may be a summer-long project. 

Half the maple was cut away.  We hope the crack will close up now.  

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