Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'll take those axes...

I’m currently vacationing in Washington State. And nothing says vacation like forced manual labor in the morning. This happening on a number of occasions while I stayed at my grandparent’s Washington home.

The first time being fairly early in the morning and on the day after my family arrived. I was completely jet-lagged. And by that I mean that my body was acting totally weird. I awoke at 7:30 AM completely awake (that’s 5:30 Saint Louis time). This after going to bed at one clock in the morning the previous night.

I figured I could make a dent in my recently purchased book, When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris. This did not happen though, instead, I was enlisted into Operation Tare Down. My grandfather, in order to appease the neighbors, decided it was time to remove the dead leaves and ivy from a tree located down the street. The tree was on our premises though. So away we went: he, with a large number of axes, and me, stuck with an aluminum ladder.

After spending about two minutes pulling off dead branches and watching passing neighbors stare at my pajamas, my grandfather (whom I will refer to as Dave for the remainder of this passage) asked, “Do you think that tree is dead?” I observed the tree. “Yeah,” I said, “I’m pretty sure it’s dead.”

We then concluded that it would be best to pull the tree completely down and out with the aid of the trusty Highlander SUV. When I returned with his keys, Dave had a chainsaw in his hands. “In case, it doesn’t come down,” he assured me.

After attaching rope around the neck of the tree, I stepped away as Dave climbed into the vehicle and started slowly inching forward. It was around this time that my Father stepped outside to visit us. Once the tree smashed into the ground, he beckoned me inside telling me I had to get ready.

The other time I might write about later but I’ll get have to get back to you…

Joel Samson Berntsen (I’ve pretty much been listening to The Black Parade over and over again)

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