Sunday, March 9, 2008

Old and Out of Shape


After two hours of nurturing, the tower of flames I was hoping for was looking more like a smudge and a failing one at that. The spot I chose to start the fire turned out to be a poor one; it was too densely packed with wet branches and fir needles. I was about to give up altogether when I decided to give it one more shot in another location. There was a slight breeze working in my favor. Soon I had a real self-sustaining fire. The rest of the day was spent hauling more brush and small fir trees and throwing them on. A green fir tree will burn as if it were soaked in gasoline. The pitch snaps and crackles and goes up in a ball of flames. Unfortunately, after a day of heat and flames the biggest stumps on the pile still sat in a blacked heap, and I doubt it's worth the effort to try again. The smart thing to do would be to have someone haul them away.

By five o'clock I was totally exhausted. Molly, Eric, Cyrus, Michelle, Chloe and Hazel were on their way to revive me with pizza and beer. After a hard day I was feeling old and out of shape. My hands were black with pitch and covered in small wounds. Walking was an effort. Some of this may be from the lingering effects of a cold I'd had in the previous few days, but there's no denying that three years of sailmaking has left me a little soft.

1 comment:

Timothy said...

michael. you got some gloves? i know you think gloves are for sissys but if you ain't doing carpentry and need manual dexterity, put some gloves on! Remember Curly from Of Mice and Men? He wore gloves full of vaseline to keep his hands soft for his lady. Do Michelle a favor. Buy some gloves. Fill them with vaseline. insert hands. Then call me to tell me how wonderful it feels. Your little brother.

Tim