Big Muchachos

If you live in the mid-Atlantic States you know that we had a hellacious storm last weekend. The silver lining, at least for me, is that the storm provided wood for my craft.

Yesterday was a crappy day at work and I was in a bad mood most of the day, then I got the call to let me know that my van was ready at the shop. I picked up the van and stagger out under the weight of the bill, so needless to say, this did not improve my mood. So I thought I would pack up my chainsaw, head around the neighborhoods to look for wood in order to pick up my spirits. A good work out with the chainsaw and the heat would help me work out my frustrations.

I lined the back of my van with a tarp to keep the bark debris to a minimum, and I filled the chainsaw up with gas and oil and put it in the back too, without its case. After about 20 minutes, I found a walnut tree down. Oh boy! (I’m sad it had to die, but I am happy I got to it before it was loaded up for the dump) I knocked on the owners door and noticed there were no cars in the driveway. Hummmm. A friend of mine lived across the street, so I knocked on their door and learned the owners of the tree has passed away and that nobody lived there anymore. Hurray for me! Sad for them 😦

I cranked up the chainsaw and proceeded to cut off a large branch. Now I knew that I could only make a small cut from the top because the bar would get pinched, so I proceed with caution. But dumb dumb cut to far and the bar was pinched hard and the engine stalled. Crap! The chainsaw was about four fee in the air and would just not start again because the chain and bar were held fast. I had to get the branch moved up to release the bar, but for the life of me I could’nt even make it budge. I could not lift it. I could not fulcrum it up, and that sucker was stuck! Now I was really mad. It’s almost 100 degrees out, I’m sweating like crazy, I am getting filthy and the oil from the chain has dripped all over the front of my tallit katanah. S%$t!! Eventually, I was able to budge the saw and get it moving up and down but the actual chain was dug hard into the wood. I could not make it move at all. Now the bar starts coming loose from the engine, so my only option is to remove the side of the chainsaw to remove the bar and the chain. But as you will recall, I left the case at home which contained the wrench that will loosen the nut that holds it all together. Double crap! Now, do I leave the saw there dangling from the tree while I go home to get the wrench, or do I go to one of the other houses and ask for assistance. Let’s see, I stink from sweat, oil, gas, and I am covered in tree debris and oil, make the mental picture. Oh yea, some lady is really going to answer the door for me. Looks like I’m going to have to do this myself. The nut is big enough to grip but I am so sweaty that I can’t hold it. I struggle with it for a while and it finally moves and I am able to remove it and detach the bar from the engine. Then I am finally able to extract the bar from the tree, leaving the chain hanging down like a taunting tongue. I’m mad, filthy, sweaty, stinky and now I have a broken chain saw and no wood to show for my efforts. Happy camper land, here I come!

I come home, head down, and seething. My wife suggests that I find a friend and borrow a chainsaw from them. Let me tell you, there are not a lot of chainsaw wheedling Jews in my community. I’m the odd “white sheep.” BUT! A friend of mine is a Jewish landscaper,  and he has a chainsaw. So I call him up, but he is at a wedding. Triple crap! Next, I think to call the friend who lived across the street from the tree and ask him to tell me when the county gets out there to take it way. Perhaps if I can catch them, I can still get the wood. But wouldn’t know I did not have his phone number and could not even find it via the internet. Now I’m just ready to pop from frustration, so I take the best course of action and barricade myself in my office so I would not go off on one of my kids. Now is it time for dinner and I am really hungry, so what do I find? A dairy meal! I had a meat meal for lunch! Oy Vey! No dinner for me! What a rotten day! Now I am mad, stinky, filthy, hungry, and getting cold in my sweat soaked clothes.

Thankfully, the day ended and I had the usual terrible nights sleep, tossing and turning, hot and cold, baby crying, baby crying, on and on. Oy gevalt! Not again!

The happy ending!

I called my landscaper friend in the morning and although he was crazy busy with all the storm clean up, he agreed to help me. I was too embarrassed to tell him about my visit to the tree the day before. He had two latino workers with him and when we got there, they noticed my chain right away. Thank goodness my spanish was too bad to understand what they were saying about it. Well, these two guys made quick work of the tree and I got three large pieces of walnut which will keep me busy for a week or more. When they were done, my chain came free and they had laid it down on the ground. So I put on a classic acting performance, and pick up the chain and said, “Hey! This looks like it will fit my chainsaw! How about that! Guess I will take it home and try it out.” And whistled like an innocent man to my van and dropped it inside. The wood made it home, and my friend would not take any money because he did this as a favor to me, but I gave the two latino guys twenty bucks for their twenty minutes of work. It was still a bad day, but at least I recovered my chain and was thankful for my friendship with the Landscaper.

2013 can’t come soon enough! But at least I have some nice walnut to work with 🙂

Big walnut muchachos!


About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in In Yaakov's Workshop and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Big Muchachos

  1. Bob says:

    This was a very good blog, i have been there and know how you felt.

  2. Chainsaws ARE charming, aren’t they? Mine’s favorite trick is just deciding it won’t start, no matter what I try. The next day – BAM! Starts of the first pull! Go figure.

    I’ve made it a practice of giving the donor of the wood something turned from “their tree” as a thank you / memento. This has invariably resulted in repeat offers of more free wood – especially species I have no use for.

    Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.

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