Archive for October 26th, 2010

A Jill of All Trades (Not!)

Alas, I suffered a huge disappointment today when I found out that I would not be attending a class given at a nature center:  Chainsaw 101.

Years ago, we bought a big, gas-powered chainsaw on the cheap from a Sears Outlet that was going out of business – doesn’t everyone need a chainsaw?  It remains unused in its original box.

Here in the Maine woods a chainsaw is as much a fixture of one’s tool collection as a carton of milk is to one’s refrigerator.  We paid handsomely for all of our downed trees to be cut in chunks and then split for firewood by a local handyman.  We only did the stacking.  It hurts to know we could have done the chainsawing ourselves, if we only knew how.

Oh sure, I could read the chainsaw’s manual – but there really are tricks to doing it expeditiously, by angling the cut with or against the grain just so, not to mention sawing safely.  That includes wearing not only safety goggles, but chaps and steel-toed boots.

I was anxious to enroll in that particular session of Chainsaw 101, since other similar classes had always been offered on Shabbos, and this one was the only one given on two consecutive Sundays.  Admittedly, I dawdled, because I figured that everyone in the Maine woods knows how to use a chainsaw except me, so how popular could such a class be?  When I finally got around to calling to reserve a spot, I was dismayed to hear I was far down on the waiting list, with little hope of attending at all.

Turns out that anytime they announce the formation of a Beginning Chainsaw class (and they even have separate classes for women!!!) they fill almost immediately.  The next class to be offered will be in the Spring, but unlike the Fall, with its clear, cold and bug-free days, the Spring class will be held amidst swarms of biting blackflies.

Apparently there must be a lot of wannabe woodsmen and homesteaders that are new to Maine.  As I said in a previous post (albeit in a different context):  I thought I was the only one . . .