Sunday, June 28, 2009

Out to the wood pile

Camp Reed was over at 6 p.m. Friday, but we had a half-hearted reunion Saturday. Hannah's birthday party included a 10-year-old girl sleepover component so Alex got to come over after the party for a sleepover here. That morphed into a trip to Victory Field for Jeff, Ali, Alex and me today.

It was good to have him here because he and Alison are great companions and they keep each other happy enough that it's almost like they're not even here.

On Saturday, our neighbor Jason rented a wood splitter and he, Jeff and another guy spent most of the day splitting the sweet gum tree for firewood. The pile didn't seem so big until they started dividing each piece into several others. I stopped counting at 4 pick-up truck loads. Jason had lusted after the tree as soon as he heard it was going down and offer to get the splitter if we'd share half the wood.

We saved $100 keeping the tree, so Jeff was thrilled to add this to the bargain.

The boys were all more than a little woody, if you catch my drift, from operating a massive piece of power tool technology. At one point, a piece of wood got stuck and it took two chainsaws and a sledge hammer to get the thing going again.

I think they spent about 5 hours in the yard. Alison and I got all of the usual Saturday chores done and out of the way before they left.

Today, while Alison and Alex played, Jeff and I spent all morning stacking the wood.

Now, I'm from Indiana and we didn't burn wood at my house. Well, we did burn the house down eventually, but that's another story and it was on purpose. We played with gas and matches as kids and anything we destroyed was accidental.

My point it, I know nothing about stacking wood properly. The boy from Maine takes it seriously. Which is to say he bossed me around all morning and had 18 different steps that ensured the wood got circulation so it will dry correctly, was stacked in the precise formation so it would be be tight, etc...

In the end, as he was muttering about this and that, I swear I heard him say his dad would be proud, so apparently we did it right.

We ended up with four garbage bags of yard waste between the stuff left over from the splitter and some other stuff that I'd needed to get rid of a while.

By the time we got the last bag to the curb, I wasn't sure I could life a glass of tea. I was lucky to stumble to my seat at the ballpark. We have great seats, just above the Indians dug-out on the third base side. (Jeff likes to give the team advice from time to time, and he wants to be sure they can hear him. While I'm sure they'd hear him if we were still in the parking garage, I guess it's best to be sure.)

The downside of our seats is that they're in the blazing sun. The seats were so hot when we first go there that you had to perch on the edge and inch back slowly or lose part of yourself. Kind of like the opposite of sticking your tongue to frozen metal, only with this, you could smell your flesh burning.

After a while, the kids and I went high, searching for shaded seats. And on an ice-cream run, we ran into Team Noel -- it's not a good weekend for us if we don't run into them somewhere around town. The Indians won in extra innings, so it was a good way to end the weekend -- if indeed the weekend had to end.

We've been home since about 5 and beyond dinner, I've done nothing much. I'm hoping I'll have the strength to type at work tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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