The Cleanup  (2010)  by Mary

I always enjoyed cleaning up fallen trees, whether Larry had just cut them down, or they had laid there for years. It was a big job completed, and always improved the place so much. This time, I got my fill of tree cleanup. We worked and worked in the heat with no end in sight.

Larry used his chain saw on some of the larger branches. This old man never stopped. Todd had a smaller saw and moved at top speed flying across each branch. The logs, cut to firewood size, fell all over the place. I was totally amazed, and also worried the guys might stumble on the fallen pieces and hurt themselves with the chain saw. Josh, Erin, and I continually filled the tractor bucket with logs, and they stacked them in the firewood pile closer to the house. We also made a nice pile of kindling, and hauled various sizes of logs into the loft so there would always be dry wood if needed. The kids took bucket after bucket full of bark to the field compost, and I collected sacks of sawdust for the garden compost while they made their trips. It never ended. It was stinking hot out there in the open sun. We sure could have used the shade of that monstrous tree. We took breaks. We went back the next day, and some of us another day to rake up the small stuff. Even when we were finished, we weren't finished. A huge tree trunk and two thick branches, too big for the chain saws, would lay there until the guys figured out a way to cut them.

We have awesome, hardworking, uncomplaining grandchildren. Joshua and Erin worked right along with us and were a great help.

Picture: Our lower field has a bank on two sides. Now it is cleared except for a small area, and we can keep the weeds and thistles mowed. Notice the trunk of the fallen tree is still there. Our tractor shed and two orchards are up in the trees.



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