Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall

A non-EVE post.

Fall is my favorite time of year, by a wide margin.  Temperatures are cool and getting cooler, and it's generally dry.  It's a time of rapid change after the slow evolution of Spring into Summer.

People talk sometimes about how certain smells evoke memories.  I have two.  First, I hate the smell of fresh cut grass.  Some people romanticize it.  Those people obviously didn't spend their childhood and teenage summers humping a push mower around the yard.  Coming inside the house coated with a layer of sweat, grit, bug spray, and fresh-cut grass splatter is not my idea of romantic.  Today, the smell of 2-cycle engine exhaust plus fresh cut grass just makes me groan a little.

The second is much more positive.  I love the smell of 2-cycle engine exhaust, Carhartts and sawdust.  As a kid, this meant Fall.  In my early years, we'd go to Grandpa's woods and hitch up his antique tractors (2 of which are now in my barn) and my uncles, dad, and grandpa would spend the day cutting down dead or dying trees.  It was Grandpa's way of maintaining his woods.  It was our way of heating our home.  As a kid, I'd play with my cousins in the underbrush until the saws were turned off and it was time to carry wood to the wagon.  Sometimes there would be a Thermos of coffee (or hot cocoa for me).  As a late teen, I got my own saw and graduated to "one of the men" cutting wood.  It was a big deal, at the time, to be counted that way.

Mrs. Durden and I now live out in the country, and Fall for me means a frantic time of finishing all the crap I didn't get to over the summer and trying to clear my plate so that I can cut wood, split and stack the results.  Yes, I rush through chores I'd rather not do so that I can enjoy the chores I look forward to.  Ultimately it means plenty of winter nights in front of the fireplace with the smells of wood smoke filling the house with wholesome warmth.  And sometimes hot cocoa.

All in all, I find it satisfying work; chainsaw therapy.  Very primal.

A month or so ago, one of the summer storms knocked over a big locust behind the house.  It's well out of the way and didn't need immediate attention.  I've been eyeballing it as my first victim this year when the temperatures permit it.  This weekend we finished a lot of little things around the house... almost time for the saw.

My anticipation of this kind of manual labor is probably weird to some of you, but yes, I very much look forward to it.

So if my posting turns sporadic, I'm likely outside running the chainsaw.


What's playing:  Alice in Chains, Bleed The Freak

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