Dec 8, 2005

Thursday Already? And Me Not Dressed Yet!

How in the heck are you supposed to start a post about time flying when you know you've used every opening about time flying ever contrived about a dozen times? Trapped like a rat, I am.

Boy time flies.

The chimney got swept yesterday morning! For the first time in ten years this house had a cozy fire in it's chimney. And of course me being the wanderer in the past that I am, I brought up dozens of old memories of my father puttering around with wood-laden arms, making a fire bright and early for us to enjoy before school, or weekends where my brother and I would spend the entire weekend in the den playing, just so we could enjoy the fireplace, and poke it with the fireplace tools when it dared get down to less than roaring.

Many a cold morning I spent with my father out in the woods. He'd get a cutting license from the FDA, carefully read all the instructions and the list of what we could and could not cut, and then we'd head into the woods, find a marked tree and go to work. I can still remember him carrying around a stick with a small axe-mark on it. It didn't occur to me until I asked him what he was doing--long ago he had measured the width of the fireplace, transferred that to an old oak stick, and he'd use that to measure each length to be cut off the trunk. That old stick rode around in his truck for years and years.

Then came the loading and unloading, and the splitting. He always had the drying rack in the back of the house, where the wet wood would stay for a year, and every fall we'd spend moving the year old dried wood to the rack closest the house, so we'd have a short walk to get fresh wood for the fire. And the splitting--I was never so proud as the first day I learned that it was a lot easier to use an 18 pound maul and a wedge to split wood. Axes and burly guys in plaid is a Hollywood invention. So there I stood, staggering under the weight of this maul, trying carefully to find the grain pattern in a foot-wide chunk of oak, and bursting with pride when the wedge, with a few careful strikes, went plunging through the length of wood and popped it in two.

Granted I'm still a little let down about this whole sweep business. (Brace yourself for the slew of obligatory chimney sweep jokes.) The sweep showed up yesterday without a single trace of a top hat. He even wore light coloured clothing. Not a Disney song was sung, and frankly after a lot of prompting and careful whistling around him I think he was proud in the fact that he didn't even KNOW any Disney songs, much less ones about Victorian England and luck and chim-chim-i-nees. And I'll be damned if he didn't bring a big Shop-Vac in here to clean up the ashes.

The crushing of a child's dreams is a terrible thing to behold.

1 comment:

OLD GREY MARE said...

Mr. Irrelephant:
I am sorry that your dreams of a pencil thin man with his black sweater, pants & shoes, sporting a black top-hat & a song or two in his heart. Maybe you & others of a previous generation can scare up a "Bart" of our own.

**NEIGH**