May I recommend a way to pass New Year's Day?
Pick something you hate and get it out of your life. Preferably in a life-or-death struggle that leaves you wrung out and weary.
In other words, either kick heroin or cut down a tree.
As supporting a scag habit in Lovettsville is considerably harder than kicking one, I chose the tree route.
There's this miserable little overgrown dog-kennel downhill in my yard. It hasn't been used in decades, but when it was I can't imagine the poor things enjoying their lives very much at all. It's an awful, miserly little chain-link enclosure, maybe 20 feet by 30, and in the winter it floods out with the water shedding off the mountain behind us, making it a horrid little tick-infested frozen mudhole. As one whose two beloved dogs share not only his house but his bed, I have a hard time countenancing its existence, and I've pledged to rid my yard of it.
Beginning with a dead poplar tree.
Here's the enclosure, as clear as you're ever going to see it. In the summer it's completely overgrown with a honey-vinegar combination of clematis and Virginia creeper. I think someone once planted roses around it, and they also figure into the mix. Pretty heavy on the thorn-bush side of things. The dead poplar stands front and center.
But not for long.
Not long ago, I cracked up at an old article in a print edition of The Onion that presented recent advancements in contraception. The suggestion that elicited my belly-laff was, "On moment of climax, both of you chant, 'No baby, no baby, no baby!'" As I chainsawed my way into the front side of the poplar, I realized I was in danger of, well, of actually hitting a power line, bringing it down, and plunging the entire neighborhood into days-long darkness. I recalculated my cuts, decided to continue, and on that moment when the tree began its dramatic death-fall, instead of a hearty "Tim-berr!" I chanted "No blackout, no blackout, no blackout!"
Worked a treat. Missed my wellhead too. Cool!
It also cracks me up that out here in the country we drive our 4x4 vee-hickles onto our lawns whenever the goddamned fancy strikes, and ain't nobody can say diddly-shit about it. Y'all try that with your Condo Associations and yer little shit-assed patches of imported grass and yer goddamned Japanese Maple fag-trees. When my wheels drilled a foursome of divots in the lawn trying to pull out one of the remaining trunks of the dead poplar which I had chained to my axle, I just threw a couple handfuls of grass seed on the muddy mess. Be right as rain in a week.
Above: Chainsaw Goodness. Unfortunately, the saw threw a bolt soon after this pic was taken, and so about a third of the tree still awaits sawing-up out there.
I'm sorry, were you going to play through or something? I'll get to it, OK?
Below: 150 years ago, this was Junior's job. Now Dad would hipcheck Junior away from this pile of entertainment and tell him to go hit the Playstation or something. This looks too much like fun.
"Paw, I done finished choppin' the kindlin', can I have a penny to buy a candy-cane at the General Store?"
"T'ain't stacked yet!"
And now, the Reward... Ahhhhhhhh!
Yep. Stiff and sore again, but I'm beginning to come around to the principle that if you go to bed and you're not even stiffer and sorer than you went to bed last night, then maybe you just ain't living enough.
What do you think?