Okay, so it's no secret I'm a middle-aged suburban white woman. Not a physical wreck, but my body has experienced better days. Days of having more stamina, being more flexible, stronger, firmer, fleeter, fitter. Still, does that stop me from thinking I can do anything if I but try? Of course not. I'm possessed by Rosie the Riveter: We can do it!
Yeah. That's the attitude that found me outside this afternoon, work gloves on, sledge hammer in hand, striding authoritatively toward the large pile of logs left over from when we had that cherry tree taken down.
That's right! The lethargy has vanished as quickly as it appeared! The day was bright and warm, a good day for an outdoor activity.
I sang "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay!"
Well okay. I really didn't sing that. But I thought it.
I selected a large round of the cherry tree and set it on end. Positioning a wedge in a tiny crack, I whacked it firmly several times to set it with my little mini-sledge. I love that mini-sledge. What a useful tool when you need to whack something really hard yet maintain a bit of control.
Standing, I hoisted the papa-sledge and tried to find my rhythm. Last year, I pulled a muscle in my forearm splitting wood. I need to avoid that this year. My left hand gripped the bottom of the handle while my right hand slid down as I whipped that hammer over my shoulder and made contact with the wedge. Lather, rinse, repeat. Sweat buckets. Repeat again.
I learned to split wood watching The Boy's father. Back then, I would just perch nearby on a log and let the guys do all the work. I sorta wanted to try it but was not really inclined. Now, though, I relish the challenge. It is a task which gives immediate gratification: the satisfying thonk as the head of the sledge hits the wedge and drives it deep into the crevice, the cracks widening with creaks and groans as the log splits in several directions.
Only three. Only three of those large rounds did I manage to split today before I called it quits, dripping sweat from every pore. Such a lovely image that conjures, yes? Our pile of firewood will continue to grow until every last one of those rounds is split.
Today was all about reminding myself that yes, I can do it. Except by the time I'm done I'm afraid I'll have forearms rivaling Popeye's.