Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Working hard

My dear neighbour, Mary (an elderly widow of 30 years) tells me I work too hard. She also tells me they should pay me double. Unfortunately, double of nothing is still nothing!

I will admit I have had my nose to the grindstone a lot lately. And I have been reveling in it. I have discovered that good hard work is good for the body, mind and spirit. In addition to constant work on my fence (sawing, sanding, staining, nailing, measuring), last week I also had to haul a tree. Yes, you read that right. While we were away for the weekend, a huge maple tree came crashing down on our back yard. While this may seem like a disaster, there were numerous blessings associated with its demise. It was an old tree leaning at a 30 degree angle. It was growing right where my fence needed to go. It was leaning over a hydro wire. It was hiding a much more beautiful maple tree that had much better shade potential. then two weeks ago it was struck by lightening, gashing the truck down the middle near the bottom. Five days later it was leaning at 45 degrees. A few days after that the split in the trunk was wide enough to walk through. Hydro was called, and instead of taking the tree down as we hoped, they simply disconnected the wire and swung it over top of the tree. Tree removal companies were desperately called. Only one returned my messages and he was hired on the spot. He came the next day, but the tree had already come crashing down in our absence. Additional blessing - it fell diagonally across the yard, missing the fence, deck, swing and our neighbour's newly built two-story garage. The tree-removal man hauled away the branches and left the trunk cut up as firewood on our back lawn.

Well, I hadn't planned on telling that whole story! The point of starting it was that the "firewood" was actually huge two by two by two foot slabs of tree trunk that threatened to kill my beautiful lawn if left for too many days. And so I (James was away for the week on business) had to haul all one billion pounds of tree pieces up to a hideaway spot in our yard! Anyone know what to do with an entire tree of stumps?

I've also been out weeding, pruning, mowing the lawn and running around playing soccer with Colin. Add that to our walks (1 1/2 - 3 hours daily), running up and down the stairs, carrying 20 lbs of Caleb, sewing summer swaddle blankets, building stairs for our deck, cleaning the garage...

Well, there's nothing like some good hard work. The television is being (thankfully) neglected, and even my books are begging to be read a little more. But I'm finding much satisfaction in my work. I had a beautiful image last week of our forefathers 150 years ago as they toiled to carve out lives in this wild and untamed country. I thought of the houses and fences they built, without the conveniences of power tools. I thought of the community efforts to help each family raise a home and clear the land and plant and harvest crops. What satisfying lives they must have lived! Without the distractions of today's gadgets and media and time-fillers and time-wasters. I'll keep the flush toilet, but I often yearn for the simplicity of yesteryear...

1 comment:

Kevin H. said...

Re: the tree remains....

My dad would love to get his hands on the wood, and I'm sure he could find the opportunity to roll up that way, chainsaw the remains into more wieldy bits, and cart off the whole load in his gargantuan "mega-roof" van. Should I put you guys in touch?