Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Precious Godsend

with 6 comments

A few weeks ago, our neighbor stopped by to deliver some mail that had erroneously been left in their mailbox. He walked around to the back of the house to find Cyndie, and noticed my pile of logs awaiting the ax. He told her that he had a gas-engine splitter that wasn’t getting any use. He offered to come over and help me split firewood.

I had mixed feelings about it. I don’t like the noise the gas engine makes, but it would be a huge advantage for getting a lot of wood split all at one time. I loved that our neighbor wanted to help us, but he is 77-years-old and this was a task that seemed above and beyond the call of duty. Since his first offer, he’d mentioned it a couple of other times when I’d seen him, so I knew the offer was genuine. That made me really want to take him up on it, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.

Yesterday he made it easy for me. He called and asked if I would be around in the afternoon, because he wanted to bring the splitter over and take care of my wood pile. Happily, I was just on my way home from picking up Delilah from her grooming appointment. How could I refuse?

IMG_4149eI’m no longer worried about the effort being too much for him. I think he can out-work me. I wanted to stop when the sun set, but there was still some wood left in the row we were on. He told me I could go and he would finish those last few. I stayed, ultimately insisting he quit when it got too dark to work safely.

Obviously, the powered splitter made much quicker work of the logs than I could accomplish with my manual splitter, but more importantly, it is able to tackle the stringy-est wood that would defy my splitter entirely. I don’t know if it was ash or elm (he said it’s a hybrid of the two), but some of the largest logs were of that wood and I never would have gotten them split without the 22-ton force hydraulic ram-rod he volunteered to bring over.

I think splitting wood is something he sees as a pleasure to do, not a chore. I also think that I live a charmed life to have landed this paradise of a property with two of the most helpful neighbors on either side. As he prepared to depart for home on his 4-wheeler with the splitter hitched to the back, he very matter-of-factly stated that he would come back tomorrow to finish the remainder of the pile that needs splitting.

I didn’t try to refuse. I’m putting that energy into trying to figure out how I will ever be able to return the favor. My gushing thank-you’s don’t feel anywhere near adequate.











Written by johnwhays

November 7, 2014 at 7:00 am

6 Responses

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  1. Great story. I love how your life is so intricately tied to nature and it’s seasons. BTW Rob Split his thumb on a log splitter when he was a boy be careful!


    November 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

    • Thanks, Jane. I’m liking the new closeness to the elements, regardless how often I can be found to whine about the extremes we have endured.


      November 7, 2014 at 11:35 pm

  2. Could it be that what he treasures most is you and Cyndie being there? … taking care of things, providing continuity and wholesomeness! What I’d give to have neighbor like you!!!

    Ian Rowcliffe

    November 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

    • Good point, Ian. Thanks. We do feel grateful that our “outsider-ness” hasn’t been a barrier to our being able to connect well with our immediate neighbors.


      November 7, 2014 at 11:32 pm

  3. Best thank you’s I have ever gotten have been in the form of homemade soups, casseroles, breads, etc. 😉


    November 7, 2014 at 8:12 am

    • Cyndie was just saying we should invite them over for dinner. ‘Thank you’ food! Great idea.


      November 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm

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