Dec. 11, 2012 — The problem: How to carry firewood down the steep hill in my backyard without falling.
Before the snow arrived, I carefully sidestepped down the slope toting a canvas carrier filled with split wood.
But now the already slippery slope proved treacherous in the snow. There would be no sidestepping — not even in my snow boots.
I thought about buying some metal cleats or those contraptions that attach like snow chains to the bottoms of shoes, and even briefly contemplated borrowing some golf shoes, but it still seemed dangerous.
Then I got an idea. What if I used something like my daughters’ orange toboggan to sled the firewood down?
Where was that toboggan? The last time I can recall using it the girls were 3 and 5 and their dad and I pulled them through the snow-covered streets of Graeagle.
Well, that was 20 years and seven houses ago. I’m pretty sure it’s no longer with me.
I looked around my garage and briefly considered the lid to the garbage can, but it had two problems — not enough surface area and a handle that would cause drag.
Cardboard? I had several large sheets, but figured the wood would roll off and the cardboard would get soggy.
Then I spied the solution — the top of my wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow had been sitting in pieces since my husband bought it for me last spring.
I threatened to put it together myself, but then he reminded me of the outdoor table that I had assembled for the cabin, (which teeters to this day — the table, not the cabin), and he said “No,” that he would get around to it.
Though I lamented his procrastination all summer, I now embraced it.
I carried the wheelbarrow top up the slope and assessed the two piles of chopped wood that my son-in-in law had split for me. (Did I mention I have the best son-in-law in the world?)
The wood was on a fairly level area near the crest of the slope. Hopefully, once I pushed the wood-filled wheelbarrow over the edge, it would slide down the hill and come to rest just above the steps that lead to the yard’s second level.
Then I could transfer the wood to my canvas carrier, walk down the steps, across the yard, down the second set of stairs and stack it on a pallet positioned outside of the family room.
I stood poised at the top of the hill. This could be a stroke of genius or a disaster.
To the right were some obtrusive rocks, to the left a stand of trees. It was kind of like playing “Plinko” on “The Price is Right.” I had a narrow opening for success.
What if the wood-laden wheelbarrow gained too much momentum and flew through the glass slider? Still, it was worth a try, plus I know a good glass guy.
I pulled the wheelbarrow to the crest and pushed. I watched as it slid down the hill gaining momentum, then miraculously it slowed and stopped at the top of the stairs, just as I had envisioned. I let out a “whoopee!” which startled the cat, who had been taking it all in from a safe distance. One of my schemes actually went as planned and Sassy seemed as surprised as I.
That exuberance carried me through the first half-hour of my work, and the afterglow even lasted into the second half-hour. But by hour two some of the elation evaporated.
Still there was satisfaction in watching the piles dwindle, and the rows of stacked wood grow. After my first wood-stacking experience — when the sides completely collapsed — I had learned how to cross stack the ends.
But it was a lot of work and the 49ers were playing. I could see their red jerseys flicker across the television screen on the other side of the sliding glass door.
After two hours I stopped to take a break — big mistake. Warmth and football proved far more enticing than cold and firewood, so now my wheelbarrow and I have another date for next weekend. Since the 49ers don’t play until Monday night, I might actually finish.
|< Prev||Next >|