I was up a bit earlier yesterday than I normally would have been. The folks who bought my old homeplace had made this month’s payment with a check the evening before, and I wanted to be present when their bank opened, for reasons you’ll soon understand. As I suspected, it bounced. I then went over to the DMV office to take care of the last paperwork to get my CDL. There was a line of people standing in the rain waiting for the place to open at 8:30. I didn’t figure that it was quite THAT important, so I stayed in my truck. When the doors opened, I headed in and was probably about number 30 in the line. Soon, there were another 30 behind me and they had ONE window open out of 13. Gradually, a few others opened.
I was thinking that the only cost would be $5 for a duplicate license, since I still had a year on my current license. Not so! They “HAD TO” give me a six-year license, which cost me $50. I didn’t have that much cash on me (though I DID have a bad check in my pocket for over $500), so I did what the other folks did to me and wrote the DMV a bad check for it. During my time at the DMV, I also learned that an error of omission by the county clerk’s office many years ago would cause me to be unable to get the federal version of the license. The lady waiting on me said that since the suffix in question was on my current license, I should be able to get the state version, though. So, I left there with my CDL, after an hour-and-a-half. Needless to say, the next thing I did was to scramble to cover that check before the modern electronic banking system could make a criminal of me!
Later in the day, I got a call from the DMV saying that they should not have put the suffix on my name, even on the state license, and asking me to come back, so they could correct it. I won’t discuss my feelings towards the DMV at that moment, but I DID have to wonder why the name that had been fine for 42 years was suddenly incorrect. They WERE kind enough not to charge me for their mistake, and I was surprised at that. After waiting another 50 minutes, I walked out their door with my new “corrected” CDL that did NOT show my full name. Ironically, the paperwork for me to send to the state capital to get my birth certificate corrected was on my desk at home. I’m sure that when I get it corrected, I will be given the grand privilege of paying them $5 for the license that they SHOULD have allowed me to keep in the first place! Let’s see, they got $30 for the “learner’s permit” test, $50 for the test that I had to take over, $15 for adding the tanker endorsement, and $50 yesterday. That means that little piece of plastic in my wallet has cost me $145, SO FAR. That doesn’t include the cost of the school, which the state paid. It all sounds like a racket to me!
On getting home at last, I got the chainsaw out of the basement and cut down three small oaks in the back yard. One was growing into the small stained-glass window in the west wall near the peak of our upstairs bedroom ceiling. The other two had to be felled to make it easier to safely fall the first one, without smashing into our deck. I was glad to see that my efforts succeeded. It felt good to reconnect with my roots, having been raised in the woods, working with my father.
For those among you with timbering experience, I use only the open-face notch anymore, never the old 45 degree notch. I feel the open-face notch gives far better control. The small trees measured 9, 12 and 14 inches dbh (chest height). Most folks would see only firewood in them. I see at least eight 8ft. 4x4’s, plus at least 200 feet of side lumber. I was surprised that my International Rule Biltmore stick actually scaled them at 285 feet. I’m sure the Doyle rule would scale them at far less. I see some firewood as well, and maybe even a couple rustic chairs (if I get industrious).
Soon after dark, the lady showed up with the cash to cover her bad check. Later, we watched the old movie Parent Trap, with Haley Mills, Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara. It was filmed 53 years ago. No wonder we got a kick out of it; it’s old, like us! © 2014
Here are the oaks that I felled. Click the image if you wish to enlarge it. Notice the limbs mostly on the right side of the larger one. They were hanging over the deck.
Notice the closeness to the deck in this photo. Incidentally, that post is plumb, but the camera angle makes it look otherwise.