I cut a few smaller oaks in my back yard a couple summers ago. Various things conspired to keep me from cutting them up, so I agreed to let my cousin cut them for firewood. Then he bought a fixer-upper house and never got around to cutting up the oaks. Finally, the neighbor asked if I was going to use them and I told him that they were his. He promised to get them, but went into the roofing business on his own and wasn’t getting started on the oaks. Another neighbor happened to see them and asked about them, but I had to tell him that they were promised to the first neighbor. Now, winter is over and the oaks are still there. SO, now that I have a heart condition, but plenty of time, I will have to work the oaks up on my own. No problem, it’ll just take a while.
I was able to sell a half-face cord of wood I’d stacked up in the front yard. A pile of poles nearby had lain there and collected stray leaves all winter and looked really trashy, though. So, I had to cut a few greenbriers to clear a path to a brush pile over the hill a slight distance, so I’d have a place to put them. They were sort of doty* and not worth making into firewood by this time. It was no small task to hobble back up the slope with my cane and grubbing hoe, but hey, I need the exercise.
Back in the day, I routinely rolled 1000 pound logs with nothing more than muscles, patience and a cant hook with a four-foot handle. Today, it was all I could do to hobble 75 feet dragging 50 pound poles downhill. It’s really hard on my fragile male ego to admit that I ain’t but a 20th the man that I used to be. It was drag one or two poles and then sit for five minutes to catch my breath. I wasn’t exactly “settin’ the woods on fire!”
Now, I have a brush pile below the back yard on a gentler slope but which has WAY more greenbriers to cut. Then, I have all those trees to work up and brush and poles to drag. There will also be some firewood and maybe some small logs, unless they’re too far gone. That should keep me busy for the remainder of May! © 2016
*Pronounced with a long “O,” like soda. It’s an old logger’s term for pithy or half-rotten. Non-loggers sometimes used to raise an eyebrow when they’d hear one of us comment about a log being doty in the butt (lower end of the first log in the tree).