Lots to smile about

Years ago Ash fenced off a small area at the end of the garden where he stored wood ready for splitting, wood which had already been split and wood which needed putting to one side for a few years until it was burnable.  It was where he disappeared to with his chainsaw and, although it wasn't out of bounds to me, there was no reason for me ever to venture into it because he had everything under control.  It was in fact an outdoor 'man cave' and he was very, very happy in it.  Then dementia came creeping around the corner and his interest in all things wood related dwindled until I found myself learning how to use a small electric saw, relearning how to use an axe and having to persuade Ash to saw up the bigger stuff and split the medium sized pieces.  Yesterday we went out and used the chainsaw (when I say 'we' I mean Ash used it and I supervised) but he did it with the greatest reluctance and when it came to splitting what he'd created he decided to leave it for another day which was a pain because we have a small grate and these were quite large.  I suggested, with a smile, that he showed me how to use the splitter one day and he eagerly agreed which made me think that this is another job he's finding slightly overwhelming and we left it at that but I pondered about what to do with all that wood and how to do it.  I have a 'Jane size' chainsaw on order, I have a pile of wood waiting to be cut into stick lengths with Ash's electric saw which I've learnt to use, and I have the axe which will then split the bigger pieces into proper sticks when I need it but what about those logs?  Today Ash showed me how to use his log splitter and it was the best fun I've had in ages.  In fact I can't believe I thought there was so much mystery involved in using it and am now looking forward to creating my own grate sized logs.  On top of all that I've discovered Ash's old, adjustable, work bench leant up at the back of the shed so have brought that out to hold the wood I'm planning on turning into sticks and there you have it - my very own wood yard!  I'm more excited than I would have thought possible even a few months ago.  There really is, I'm discovering, no end to what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

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