Monday, May 19, 2014

A Girl And A Chainsaw...A Mother's Day Memory

I like to consider myself a Jill-of-all-trades. I'm fairly competent at keeping a house clean, keeping the lawn mowed, whipping up a mean casserole and wetting a hook at every opportunity.

I don't have any children unless you count my fur babies, Wally and Ralph, so I can't tell you if I am a good mother or not. Hey, the litter box is cleaned out daily and the kitties are fat and sassy and I don't hear any complaints from them.

My nieces think that I am a great aunt and I try to "mother" my own mother sometimes but that just drives her bonkers. "Stop worrying," she says. 'You're getting on my nerves and it's not healthy for you. Don't you have a story to write?" Dissed, once again, by my own mother.

I can spin a basketball on my finger and I have a wicked left-handed hook when I bowl. When it's right on target it's a strike every time. But most times, it hooks too soon and crosses from the left side of the lane to the far right side and ends up in the gutter before it has made it halfway down. I should probably practice more but that's not me and I'm usually off to the next best thing before I know it.

For the last few years I have been obsessed with owning my own chainsaw. I live on the edge of town in a slightly wooded jungle area. Every spring when the new growth on the trees, plants and shrubs emerges, my house, yard and driveway fight to keep from being swallowed by the ever-expanding spread of wisteria vines, kudzu and wild azalea bushes.

I have a nice set of clippers that are advertised to cut through twigs and branches up to one inch thick and it does a really good job. But, I thought if I had a chainsaw I could cut through the higher up foliage that supports the new growth that I have to cut back every year.

Simple enough plan, right?

No one in my immediate family thought so.

Brother's opinion: "A chainsaw? What the hell you want a chainsaw for? Why don't you just hire someone to do it? You're like dad--you'll cut your arm off?"

Sister's opinion: "What are you going to do with a chainsaw? That doesn't seem like a very fun Christmas present? Besides, aren't you a bit clumsy like dad? You'll cut your arm off?

Friend's opinion: "A chainsaw? That's what the tree service people do--and you are so much like your dad that you'd probably cut your leg off." (At least it was a different appendage.)

Mom's opinion: "You want what for your birthday? A chainsaw? I don't think that's a really good idea, besides you are a bit clumsy like your dad. You might cut the wrong tree down and it will fall on your house. Or even worse, that pretty Mustang of yours. Then what would you do? I'm not getting you a chainsaw--you'll cut your head off?"

I couldn't really understand why but confidence in my sawing abilities was extremely low. Yes, I have had a bicycle accident in the recent past; I did step in a hole in the back yard (not my fault; it was a sinkhole) and I did fall into the creek a few weeks ago. But none of those incidents involved a 2-cycle gas powered engine.

It's not that I haven't operated a chainsaw before; I had on more than one occasion and one time, alcohol was involved. (But hey, the family doesn't know about that.)

So imagine my surprise last weekend when the big box sitting in the corner of the room partially hidden by a large ficus tree turned out to be my very own chainsaw. Amused looks were passed between the family as I oohed and aahed over my new toy. "You better be careful with that," they all volunteered. "You'll cut your arm off."

Upon closer inspection I was disappointed to see that it was an electric chainsaw. "Mom, it's electric," I said.

"I got you a cord to go with it," she said.

I hadn't noticed the other package that was lying slightly underneath the chainsaw box. I reached for it and sure enough there was a hundred foot extension cord. "Well, that's good," I said. "But why did you get me an electric chainsaw?"

"Harrumph," she scoffed, "those gas chainsaws are over $200. I'm not paying that much for something you might only use one time."

Frowning slightly, I asked, "Why do you think I'm going to use it only one time?"

"Well, sweetie, you are your father's daughter and I know you can be clumsy sometimes. I didn't want to pay too much in case you cut your arm off."

I just shook my head. "I'm not going to cut my arm off. Have some faith."

"Oh, I have plenty of faith. And Happy Mother's Day!"

"Thanks, mom," I said. "I'm glad you have faith in me and no one has ever said 'Happy Mother's Day' to me before."

"Sure, honey. I have lots of faith that you'll do a good job cutting my shrubs back. Now, let's go try this thing out."

In retrospect I'm not sure who the chainsaw was for: me or my mother.

A chainsaw for Mother's Day? Why not? It's the perfect gift!

(Just don't cut your arm off.)

No comments:



Blog Widget by LinkWithin