Most days, if you asked me how I am doing, I reply, “Living the dream.”

Today with a box of tissues lying next to my box of antihistamine and decongestant, while attempting to not scratch the hundreds of tiny lash marks that promise to leave scars on my forearms, I might say, “Surviving the dream.”

Sometimes I think dreams should come with warning labels:

This dream may require ridiculous amounts of exertion, cause numerous scratches to your forearms which may lead to an intense burning sensation. Bleeding and dehydration are likely. Muscle aches could lead to domestic abuse when your spouse jostles the bed at night. Mental stability may be questioned when the patient begins to stack silverware in the fashion of woodpiles.  

Around here, the normal quiet that signals winter has been shattered by the constant roar of a chainsaw. Operation Free the Hundred-Year-Old Pecan Trees has commenced. Unfortunately it is only the first of several steps that must be taken before we can officially become a pecan farm.

Before clearing the majestic pecan.

After. At least 128 years old.
Pre-clearing: It looks like there is only a few trees to remove under those pecans, but there were dozens of small trees, hundreds of prickly vines and several thorny locust trees.

In spite of the growing number of cuts across our arms that might lead strangers to believe we have taken in a hoard of kittens, we press on. We tug, scrape, haul, hoist, cut, load, dump, stack, and drag until the mighty trunks of the pecan trees are bare.

Occasionally we find a dead animal and the game of Identify and Classify the Remains offers a small break before we trudge back to the mountains of underbrush that won’t clear themselves. 

Good times…

Two pecan trees at the north end of the pasture.

The four pecan trees at the south end of the pasture. The second one from the left is the largest we have and measures 152 inches in circumference, which if the calculations are correct means it took root around the time of the Civil War. The two flanking it measure around 83 years old. 

Brush piles waiting to be burned.

Every. Single. Piece. had to be cut, hauled and stacked. On the bright side, if there happens to be another ice age we are prepared.