I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay

It’s an old song from Monty Python that you can find by searching on Google or Youtube. Over the past week, I have cut down at least thirty thuja (cedar) trees that were invading my garden. The point is that these trees have to be trimmed and tended from the day they are planted (I didn’t plant them). If not, they grow out of all control and smother everything else in the garden – grass, flowers and deciduous trees. I took on some paid help in a man who had worked as a builder and now does gardening and landscaping, reasonably priced and a workman like in the “old days”. We got to work with chainsaws, billhooks and tough leather gloves.

At last, the last tree came down yesterday afternoon (it was a nice cool rainy day, just right for hard physical work), and I hired a flat-bed vehicle today to transport as much green waste and branches as possible to the local municipal dump. We are keeping the trunks and big branches for firewood – two to three years drying out. There’s still some trunks to cut close to the ground with our chainsaws, and then a load of tidying up. We were burning during the first week, and the wind veered to the south-west and choked the entire village. Our Mayor has been very understanding, but I do have to be more careful about the wind direction!

So the experience of being a “lumberjack” for a week is rather tiring, considering that the real lumberjacks in Canada have enormous machines for handling the trunks and stripping the “eye whip” branches away. I am reminded about the old Irish joke about a man from County Kerry getting a job in Canada as a lumberjack. The foreman told him that he had to cut down a hundred trees a day. The result on the first day was ninety-eight. Paddy got a chance, and the tally on the second day was only ninety-nine. The foreman said “Sorry, I can’t keep you, but let’s have a look at your chainsaw to see if it’s working properly“. He pulled the rope and started the engine. Paddy exclaimed – “Bejeepers and begorrah! What’s that noise?

A reader expressed a little concern that the blogs had “run out of steam”. I would venture a simple explanation – it’s August, hot in the Northern Hemisphere and quite a few of us are on holiday. Next week, I’m taking my boat, travelling chapel and breviary – among other things – to north Brittany (see previous article), and I count on a quiet week’s sailing. I don’t think I’ll be taking a computer. I think my only contact with the world with be my mobile phone and meeting other “yachties”.

So I don’t think there will be much blog traffic for the next couple of weeks, as for those going to the mountains, jungles of Asia or wherever. For those going away from home and work, I wish you all a great holiday yourself, and I imagine we’ll all start picking up after the Assumption.

Keep me in your prayers during this time of “retreat” and relaxation.

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2 Responses to I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay

  1. Michael Frost says:

    Fr. Anthony, re: Monty Python (MP)… Good to see some levity. I’ve long thought The Lumberjack Song was almost an anthem for the Episcopal Church (USA), esp. in light of Eugene Robinson. And, in light of your living arrangements, who can forget the repeated taunting of King Arthur’s knights by the French in their classic movie MP & the Holy Grail? You even got me wondering if maybe, just maybe, their classic cheese shop skit, with the empty cheese shop that supposedly has a plethora of varieties, might somehow be an analogy for the state of so much of Anglicanism around the world (e.g., the CofE)? Or the Twit of the Year competition skit… No one does comedy quite like MP any more. 😉

    Hope you truly enjoy a safe, rewarding vacation (holiday).

  2. Rdr. James Morgan says:

    Father, I don’t even own a boat, but i can’t think of a nicer venue for a ‘retreat’ than being on or near the water! Have a happy! and I mean it!
    Rdr. James
    former LTJG USNR back in the day

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