Tuesday, October 27, 2009


TREE SHRUGS


And I thought I was so smart. Wealth can do that to you. By wealth I mean firewood, which, to the frugal, is the same as money. In fact, for some time now I have been the Scrooge McDuck of firewood, but with no room left in the vault. Because of my growing wealth, even as I did the backstroke through my firewood holdings I was running out of storage space; then I realized that in addition to stacking my woody ingots in the usual way, I could use the many cedars that edge my property as single support ends for stacks! When that space too was used up, I realized that I could stack wood between the trees themselves, using two trees as both end supports, which was a great idea and expanded my outdoor vaultage considerably; but at the time, even at my age, I was unaware that trees shrug their shoulders so close to the ground.

I would come out some mornings after a windy night and see a firewood stack now scattered all over like pickup sticks and think: I didn't stack that right, must've been tilted so much that it was a windy pushover. So I'd restack it as level as an oak floor, but a month later, one morning it would be spread all over the ground again, even getting rained on sometimes - weather loves to add insult to injury - and I thought there must have been a hell of a wind during the night, near hurricanes do sometimes blow stacks over.

Then the big wooden nickel dropped: these recidivist stacks were all between trees. High up, the trees were shrugging in the wind, and the nanoshrugs down near the ground were slowly nudging the firewood toward instability, until... So I started tending to the stacks with my big wooden maul; every once in a while I'd make the rounds and pound the intertree stacks back into alignment. One evening a couple of days ago I noticed that one of the later longish stacks was bowed out at the top and would topple at the next high wind, so I intended to get at it the next day, which was yesterday - there were no winds coming up.

It rained hard all day, though, due to a hurricane far off the coast, with no wind here, so I decided to wait for another day. But last night the tail of the hurricane lashed us briefly after dark and there must have been considerable arboreal shrugging, till around 11 o'clock at night as I was getting ready for bed I heard a big crash outside like the high-speed collision of two heavily loaded giant marimba trucks. I started to say what the hell was that, but only got to about wha- when I realized what it was. This morning, when I went out to head for work in the Big City, there in my garden lay the wreckage of dozens of giant marimbas.

Tomorrow I'll restack all those ingots somewhere beyond the reach of tree shrugs. Labor is the better part of wealth anyway.

7 comments:

Tabor said...

Ah, now I understand why our one long stack outside the fence keeps toppling. I thought it was because hubby cut the wood to short...my word verfication is prossess?

Anonymous said...

I really hear these trees trying to tell you something -- hope you hear it too.

It's not comfortable for them! Like having a tight pair of pants on. Or giantly heavy steel-toed boots.

Set them free, do.

R. Brady said...

Oh yeah, we'll come to a compromise agreement. But already I'm being nicer to them than they are to each other. Maybe they'll learn something too...

Maggie said...

Maybe they will bow out and with one giant shrug will leave you syntaxless with your firewood.

wgaw said...

completely lost, but lost in what sounds to be a wonderful place.

Mary Lou said...

ANd once again, the firewood has warmed you! Such WEALTH you have!

R. Brady said...

Yes,and it's just lying there scattered all over the ground! But it's Saturday now, time to build a new vault and restack those ingots...