Saturday, February 2, 2013

My sister's keeper...

My sister read the last blog I wrote and said she wanted to be a "guest" on my blog to get a few thoughts out about what she is doing this year and keeping herself busy so as not to dwell on what she was doing last year.  Here are her thoughts...

I decided to learn chainsaw art this week in my pursuit of keeping busy. My thoughts gravitate to where I was last year. The images overwhelm my brain in graphic detail. So keeping busy is what my brain tells me to do, yet my heart keeps tugging me in a different direction... 

But I focus on my brain, not my heart. No small task. 

Uncle Joe was called to bring over his little chainsaw. He was informed that he was responsible for teaching me to use it. At 7am, after we had our coffee and conversation, daylight broke and it was time for my lesson. He spent a half hour doing the maintenance on it that he admitted he should have done awhile ago. 

But, while he was busy with that, he issued me instructions to mix the gas with oil, 4 ounces of oil to 1 gallon of gas. Of course, I can calculate an IV Cardizem drip at 10mg per hour but struggled with this directive. But I managed. 

He was a great teacher. He gave me the proverbial inservice. Pump the primer twice, pull out the choke, lock the trigger, flip the switch to start, and pull the start cord. Once it starts, turn the choke off, rev it and you are good to go. 

Of course I almost chopped off his arm as the chainsaw revved to life and I didn't know how to handle it....

Joe puts up with me and my ridiculous beliefs that I am a closet artist ready to unleash this amazing, undiscovered talent. As my Rye would say- negatory,Mom... "

But my father would say, with the right equipment, you can do anything you want in life if you practice.... And have a burning desire to succeed. 

So, little did Uncle Joe know, I did my due diligence before he arrived. I watched several YouTube videos on chainsaw art. Gosh, I was ready....


Uncle Joe was patient with me. We nearly froze to death on this 40 degree Florida morning, but He taught me how to safely use a chainsaw. Good old Joe left the art crap up to me. 

But there was a glimmer in his eye... He just had to cut this big-assed log I had secured for the project, just to "test" the chainsaw. But, actually, this log was two projects, unbeknownst to him. First, I was going to do chainsaw art 101 to practice a simple design- a humpback whale. Then I planned to move on to a Pelican once I moved to the comfort zone with the chainsaw...

Joe commented if I was serious, I needed to buy buy a good chainsaw-a Stihl. Yeah. Lets see how I do with the Homelite. Most people laugh and say a Homelite chainsaw "best left at home..." But what the heck? Starter package. Who am I to complain ?

Uncle Joe taught me how to gas it up, how to start it and how to tighten the chain and how much tension the chain should have. He also taught me how to replace the chain when needed. Gosh, I was pumped! 

He put me through the paces and then jumped in his truck and said, "be careful and try not to dismember yourself..

Well, by myself, I was intimidated and scared by this manly tool. If there was any way I could have purchased some testosterone, I would have. I really needed him to stay but realized that he has given me far too much of his life hovering over his recently widowed sister. 

But I realized as an adult, Joe developed a patience I never thought he was capable of... Maybe he's doing this for Pete? 

But as he left, he told me that he's going to bring a welder over and we will would learn how to weld together.... Very sweet. I figured that I must be the brother he never had. 

He reminds me of Daddy... Daddy always had patience for me and listened to my hopes and dreams and helped me to make them happen...

So, after 4 hours of sweat, anxiety and trepidation, the humpback whale is roughed out. The sun came out and the day heated up to a balmy 70 degrees. I was in my glory carving away, safely. I felt like an artist. 

So, I now feel confident that I can handle the chainsaw. Just practice is all that's needed to build more confidence. Then I will get down to the art. I have confidence that someday, with a ton of trials and embarrassing errors, I will be able to produce some primitive chainsaw art pieces.   
Maybe, someday, carve a pelican for my sister Terry, who was sooooo good to my husband in his hour of need. 

A reminder of the past. Of giving of oneself in her brother-in-law's hour of need. A precious gift to him. A memory burned into her sister's brain that she will never forget. 

The honor of that time was mine...
Love you dear sister and am in awe of your strength to honor your husband and continue to go on.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

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