Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bend Don't Break

I try to be flexible in my schedule; I like to allow for unforeseen possibilities. I have a general sense of what needs to be done, and when, beyond that let’s just see what happens. It’s kind of like crossing (or burning) that bridge when I come to it.

I am aware of several trees in the pasture that need to be cut down before they fall down – which isn’t always so bad, unless they fall on something – like a fence or two. I asked my dad once when’s the best time of the year to trim a tree. “The wind doesn’t care,” was his answer.

Apparently, neither does the wind have an opinion when it’s the right time to fell a tree.  I think it was Thursday when the tree came crashing down; however, I wasn’t home to hear it so I can’t be sure it made a noise. I discovered it Friday lying across the inside of a corner resting on two crushed sections of fence. It missed the gate, but in its current state of repose, the tree was blocking the lane.

I knew the tree was dead and needed to be cut down, I just didn’t know it was that dead – it was rotted near the ground and just needed a push by a strong wind. So although I no longer had to concern myself with when to cut the tree down (I had considered doing it sometime this spring), I now had a more pressing problem.

I don’t mind cutting up a tree, I just don’t like doing it with little kids running around and Saturday we had a couple little kids running around. My niece and nephew (seven and six years old) had spent Friday night at our house and I wanted to send them home whole and complete.

Rhonda, their aunt and my wife, had an idea to have her and the kids help me. It would be good for the kids to get outside for some fresh air, plus they would get some exercise.

I went outside ahead of them to saw a pile of logs that had been waiting for me to cut into shorter lengths (one pile of logs is enough – two is too many). In about an hour the three of them appeared around the corner of the barn ready to help. I turned the saw off and showed them what I wanted done. Soon, Rhonda created a game of it where these little kids were having fun doing work. They carried the smaller pieces into the barn and she stacked them.

While they laughed and worked, I walked down the lane and started to dismember the tree limb by limb. Between the sawing, carrying, stacking, and rides on the golf cart it turned out to be a good morning.

Later on in the day, I replaced the switch on a lamp that had finally failed (prior to that you just had to fiddle with it a little to get it to work). When I was done and the light shone, I realized you can put things off for just so long and then you are forced to address them. However, I still contend it helps to be flexible so you don’t get bent out of shape by the surprise of unscheduled events.

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