Pickle on a Log Splitter

Pickle on a Log Splitter
July 26, 2011 Colleen Emery

Okay, so I think that wins for weirdest title for a blog entry. At least here at this blog.

A couple of weeks ago we headed out to the land to get organized on the ‘other side of the mountain’ for our big move. Yes, the big move, that’s now less than 4 weeks away. Oh my gosh you guys its coming up quick, real quick. Good thing I am a borderline anal organizer. ((borderline? who am I kidding)).

Tasks we needed to accomplish while there were many and quite diverse, everything from filing appropriate paperwork at the Safety Authority for the Husband’s business to reviewing and becoming sound with the ‘systems’ of the Yurt to harvesting our winter wood off our property, hence the title of this post.

The weather was less than typical mid July weather for the area and I Packed.All.Wrong. But, only for me; the family MountainHerb had all the proper gear. Mama MountainHerb? Well, needless to say my toes were cold (didn’t bring enough socks), my raincoat sucked (damn you leaky old gortex from the nineties), and I spent most of my days longing for my wool sweater, neatly folded on my bed back in the city. There was one moment where I contemplated handing in my Wilderness Family Membership Card and heading to the nearest full service resort.

The remainder of my resilient family immersed very well into the mud, the wind, the rain, the constant damp that never ended, but it took me a bit to get my grounding. Lets not forget that I hail from a land that is always dry even when its raining and the sun is so hot you can fry eggs on the concrete.

As I mentioned one of our tasks was to begin the process of bucking and splitting 4 cords of wood for the winter months. We are super grateful to have extremely knowledgeable neighbours who have taken us under their wing and gave us the best tutorial regarding all things wood. Everything from the type of chainsaw a mountain family needs to how to choose the trees to harvest. I am relieved to say that no tree was killed during this adventure. We have a large amount of ‘dead standing’ to harvest, so much so that taking a green tree for firewood most likely won’t be happening for several years, if at all fingers crossed.

The days we designated for our tree harvest were the worst for the weather. Now, had we been already living there and had more time we would have been inside sipping tea and reading awesome books like most of the sane folk out there, but no, we had very limited time so we must persevere! It was this day that my melt down happened. Standing in the pouring rain with the roar of the chainsaw as my soundtrack I thought to myself “what on earth have I gotten myself into?”. As we cleaned up the massive tree fall that nearly took out the outhouse I realized that this was really happening. I really was planning to live off the land and off the grid in the middle of the mountains. Wow. Clarity was never so welcome or so scary.

So, I gathered up my Mountain Family, headed to the car and off we went to grab a bite in the warmth of a nearby cafe. Once I had my bearings we returned and I felt oddly okay with the rain, the mud, the wind, the sound of the chainsaw. As I set up my log splitting station I realized I was about to spilt the wood that would keep me warm on those long nights in the darkest months of the year. The feelings of strength and empowerment returned. So, with me using my big ax and the Pickle using her foot operated log splitter we went on to split over a cord of wood that day bucked by the Husband. It was truly inspiring to me, that we as a family could do this. But, more than that, we could enjoy the process and be rewarded on many levels for it.

What’s more, I was reminded how truly strong I am. I am capable of this. I felt a strong connection to my ancestral past. I am honoured to travel this road.

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