In four moments of weakness during the half hour I stayed behind, I scarfed down cookies in batches of at least two at a time.
Finally the cookies helped me build up my reserve strengths of guilt (and an increasingly upset stomach), until I had enough remorse to head outside myself.
As it was sauna night, I had it in my head to get a bit of wood for the sauna stove. We had never put up more than a couple of weeks worth in the sauna shed by fall, and it emptied quickly. I still believe we have lots in the regular woodshed to feed both the sauna AND the cabin, but it doesn't hurt to have a buffer.
I knew there were several dead but standing (smaller) trees lining the driveway that were unavailable during our other seasons, as the marsh is not easily navigable. I had also brought in my chainsaw batteries and charged them up in anticipation of doing some more cutting.
I worked my way up and down the driveway felling perhaps a half dozen good candidates, as well as three green trees that needed to come down for various reasons (well, one I didn't notice it still had a few needles on it, and two others that were legit falling onto the driveway).
Donna and Kenny returned from their walk, but decided to head inside to warm up a bit before coming back out. As I recall, mittens and hats were not complete parts of the gear they took with them on their impulsive walk.
As I carried the smallest of the trees up close to the sauna to buck, Kenny said he wanted to help by dragging the larger trees himself. I had planned on hooking them to the ATV and pulling them up, but decided to humour him. He couldn't budge the first one, but the second one he was able to lift the end, and declared that he would drag it.
I suggested I could tie a rope to it and he may have an easier time of it. We grabbed two ropes, and he hooked himself up to the smaller tree and began dragging it in about ten centimetre increments. He insisted on no help, and over the course of a half hour or more, actually managed to drag it from the front entrance of the property, all the way up the driveway (including a significant incline) to the sauna!
It reminded me of the time in my childhood when my father created a series of harnesses on our toboggan to haul firewood through Schneider's bush. Except in this case the pack animal had the distinct advantage of an eager will.
|My own tractor!|
|Admiring next year's wood.|
|The final few metres!|