I have always known that I would die someday. I guess everyone contemplates their mortality at some point or another. Strangely I have had to face mine a lot this last year and a half.
Probably because I am spending a lot more “quality” time with my husband.
By quality I mean rolling giant hay bales, chasing 1500 pound cows, throwing three cords of chopped pecan wood piece by piece to fill the wood pile, bracing the legs of deer stands while they are being hoisted over top of me, and inevitably finding myself holding something that my precious husband calmly tells me not to jostle for fear of explosion.
Well, this past weekend brought more “bonding” time…over a chainsaw.
After being summoned, I grudgingly pull on my boots and Andy hands me my leather gloves.
That should have been my first clue.
My leather gloves are only used while working with hay or barbed wire. I look around for more context clues before I respond to Andy’s question of, “Are you ready?” No wire stretcher, no wire cutters, no axes….only the sight of the tractor pulling an empty trailer.
So I nod and just as we step onto the grass he stops and says, “You should get some eye protection.”
The trouble with eye protection? It only protects your EYES!
I cannot hide the grimace on my face as I slip the glasses over my baby blues. Right then, Grant walks past me with a look on his face that says good luck. Now I’m really worried. The only reason Grant would be banned from helping is if the activity had been deemed too hazardous.
A bad taste starts filling my mouth as I follow Andy, chainsaw in hand, out to the side of the house. I begin to relax as he walks up to a tree and starts trimming limbs. He just wants help loading the limbs in the trailer.
No big deal.
Until I notice that the said tree is a Honey Locust, a.k.a. Spiky-Tree-of-Death. I stare down at my clothes and wonder if I have enough protection from the thorns known to flatten backhoe tires.
Want a real glimpse into how ticked off God was when Eve ate the apple? Spend a few hours hacking down a locust tree. They literally fight back as you hoist the cut limbs into the trailer. Like trying to pry a little kid off a toy at Chuck E. Cheese in attempts to take them home. Or like that knock-down-drag-out you had during Black Friday two years ago as you pulled the last Tickle Me Elmo from the shelf.
Curse words are cut in half by screams of oww as the six inch thorns snag your most vulnerable places.The more you move the more entangled you become. A true test of patience and strength of a marriage; you must hold perfectly still while being impaled and wait for your significant other to free you. Then they become impaled and tangled and you must work to free them.
Like a waltz… with a porcupine.
I am happy to report that both my clothes and my marriage survived the encounter. Not only did we murder the #%&@* thing, we found a small oak tree growing right in the middle of it. A few stakes later, the tree is now free to grow strong and old under big blue skies and breathtaking sunsets. And if I survive long enough, I will have a perfect view from the front porch rocker.