Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Good Machine Friend

I never would have admitted to this, if I had not discovered that other seemingly normal people feel the same way. I think of my chainsaw as a friend.

The orange chainsaw in the photo is my second Stihl. The first one burned when one of Bluebonnet Electric Co-op's poles fell on a neighbor's land and started a brush fire that ended up burning down my house, workshop, chicken pens, rabbit hutches, and storage sheds. Luckily, I was living in the city at the time, so no one was killed or injured, except possibly the pack rat who had set up housekeeping under a futon (I hope the little creature smelled the smoke and got away in time).

Anyhow, when I lived at Altamira, having a nice big stack of firewood always made me feel secure, like having plenty of beans and corn stored for the winter, or having plenty of money saved up. I hate being cold. In fact, I have such a fear of being cold, one would think I'd frozen to death in a former lifetime and still carried the memory of it. There's something especially comforting about having a fire blazing in a box in my home. It's much nicer than a gas space heater, and infinitely nicer than central heat. I love almost everything about wood burning stoves. Even having to build up the fire in the morning isn't bad at all, because I always shovel out some of the ashes to make room for more wood, and there are always glowing hot coals mixed in with the ash. The bucket of warm ashes is a marvelous foot warmer.

Back to the chainsaw - since the chainsaw makes it possible to cut up much more wood in a give amount of time than I would be able to cut using a hand saw and ax, I've developed quite a fondness for it. I felt ... do I dare put this down in writing? ... incomplete without a chainsaw after my old one burned.

I think the photo will be too small to show another friend of mine, but when the photo is enlarged, you can see Alex the Savannah cat lying in his favorite spot by the stove. He's in the background, between the plastic bucket of wood and the stove.


  1. Hello Barb;

    Snowy wishes from Vermont where we are having another record setting winter.

    Whenever I see mention of chain saws, I give my comment about wearing protective chaps when cutting. For probably 25 years I didn't have a pair and looking back now, I think I was probably lucky. They cost around $75 but can save a bad cut or a trip to the ER. I think I have scored mine more times carrying the saw to and from the work site but just the same they are worth it in my book.

    Hope you receive a good rain.

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener

  2. Thanks for the advice, George. Although I have a healthy fear of chainsaws and am VERY careful about watching what I'm cutting and keeping the tip of the chain guide clear, I'm bad about not wearing protective clothing. I was talking to a neighbor recently, who said that a friend of his was recently using a chainsaw that kicked back and caught him in the leg -- I think my neighbor said the wound was to the thigh. The poor guy (or maybe I should say lucky guy, since he's still alive and walking around) had to get something like 80 stitches. Hurts just thinking about it. Chaps would have given him at least some protection.