It was sunny here today, so after putting out the trash, and then eating an early lunch, I went outside to play. Play is about what I have to call it anymore, since I no longer have the ability to do a day’s work. Still, I stacked a few pieces of 20” long wood in the rack that I showed you in some previous post. There were a few sticks of cherry that didn’t need split, and a few aspen of a similar size, so they went in the stack first. Then it was time to start splitting the larger pieces.
First, I retrieved the splitting maul that I picked up cheap in Amish country a couple years ago and replaced the duct tape wrap over the somewhat splintered area next to the head. I had purchased “Duck Tape” at Chinamart for the task, but I won’t make that mistake again. It’s thin as tissue paper and not very sticky. I reckon it’s that old “you get what you pay for” deal. Still, I think it will do the job,…….for a while.
It’s probably been WELL over a year since I’ve split any wood. On the first swing, it felt like I’d broken my left shoulder, which also threw off my aim. (How’s THAT for an excuse?) The doc told me that surgery for the problem would involve whacking out some bone to make more room for the tendon there. That didn’t sound good, especially when combined with the knowledge that the hospital blood-suckers had collapsed every vein in both arms when they put in my defibrillator back in February. I swore then that I’d never willingly go into surgery again.
Since pain is a part of life, I swung again. It was still extremely painful, but seemed less so. The next swing hurt a little less, and the next even less. The biggest problem was that the 10” diameter piece of aspen kept trying to eat the maul, and STILL wasn’t split. So, I walked over to the truck and got a splitting wedge and went back to work. The small strokes of tapping in a wedge were much less painful than a full-out swing, but the wedge was nearly buried before the piece finally opened enough to allow me to finish with the maul. (Spell-Check doesn’t like the word “maul,” but refuses to allow me to add it to the dictionary. Charming! (Gee, as if I didn’t know that “Charming!” is a fragment!))
Each swing of the maul still hurt, but my shoulder DID seem to be loosening up a little. Each piece of aspen down to 6” had to be split with a wedge, though all except the first three could be split from halves to quarters with the maul. Unfortunately, I could split two pieces at the most, and stack them, before I had to sit down to catch my breath and rest my back.
I still get light-headed when sitting down after the slightest exertion. The docs can’t figure it out, since it’s NOT when I stand up. Sometimes, doctors are kinda worthless. The guru put out a theory that my body maintains a certain amount of blood pressure as long as I’m moving a bit and standing. Upon sitting though, it senses that degree of pressure is no longer needed, so it crashes for a minute. That’s more than the doctors could come up with, so I think I’ll go with it. After a few seconds of feeling like I’m going to faint, the light-headedness and the spots before my eyes gradually go away. (Here, Spell-Check doesn’t know what constitutes a sentence fragment.) Then, I take a sip of water; wait until my breathing is completely normal and go split another piece or two.
I was well over an hour splitting and stacking only a quarter of a face cord, but that’s a start. Every time the breeze stirred a little extra hard, I was surrounded with falling leaves, reminding me that this is my favorite time of year. Then, my wife called me to come inside and perform my husbandly duty of visiting with her and the dog until the 700 Club came on. I’d hoped to return to my task afterwards, but the missus (and the dog) wanted to go for a drive in the autumn sunshine. How could I refuse them? © 2016