Monday, August 31, 2015

Ode to a chainsaw

There are few things quite a scary as watching someone you love try to start a chainsaw. 

In this case, I stood by as I watched both my dad and my husband try and get the thing going.  The first time Dad brought it to the cottage, he tried to set it on the ground, pulled the cord, and we all watched in horror as it spun around as if to say “Do you feel lucky, punk?”  Then he tried to teach Larry how to start it.  This did not go well either, because once it gets started, they couldn’t really hear each other. 

This weekend, however, the chainsaw was the hero.  We decided to tackle a portion of the back yard that was fenced and so overgrown that you couldn’t really see through it, let alone walk through it easily.

You can just barely see the fence to the right of the tree because the weeds even hid he fence.

You can also barely see the red cistern house peeking through the weeds.

By the time Larry and Dad got the chainsaw going, they realized the chain was all chewed up and we needed a new one.  We drove to Round Top, where the general store had a surprising array of chainsaws and accessories, including “The Farm Boss” which would probably have caused us to lose our health insurance.  Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that the length of the chain is measured not by the actual chain itself, but by the portion of the blade that is exposed.  So we took off towards LaGrange.  Three stops later, we had our replacement chain (Tractor Supply seduced us into buying other junk as well, but Larry somehow resisted the temptation to buy Johnny Cash’s greatest hits at the register).

And boy did we make progress after that.

We unearthed several "treasures" leftover from the decades before, including part of an old cast-iron pot, part of a mayonnaise jar, some bricks, some chunks of granite, and many cans of tuna.

Not without incident, however.  Larry got stung by a yellow jacket.  We also found more patches of poison ivy, but everyone lubed up with Technu after we noticed it, and no one developed a rash.

By the end of the day, the back yard was mostly clear, except for the piles of brush.  You can now clearly see the cistern house on the right and the chicken coop on the left.

Near the cistern house is an old water pump.  Oh, yes.  It stays.

Even though the prior owner said they always called this the cistern house, he said it that was probably always a misnomer.  He told us that the time the doctor occupied the main house, a kid lived in the building during the school year so that he could attend the school next door.  In exchange, he milked the cow every day.  This area is fully fenced and had the clothes line. We think that at one point before the age of washing machines, the cistern house must have been where they did laundry.  

We also unearthed the "granite" (Larry says its technically not granite but granodiorite.  Whatever.) path that leads from the house to the backyard.  

The prior owner told us that the chunks of granite leftover from the company in LaGrange that made tombstones.

I also managed to get a few shots of the milking barn.

Towards the right of the picture above, you can see an open door.  There is a separate area to the left with another set of doors, but the door is wedged shut from the weeds.

Below is a shot inside the open door.  The ceiling is fairly low because of a hay loft above.

I kid you not, on the outside of the barn is a "toilet" That is a cement hole with a hand-made wooden seat.  We could not find any remnants of an outhouse building.  It appears that this was never protected or enclosed, save for being tucked behind the outside of the barn.

And to answer your questions:  1) no we haven't used it; 2) no I am not planning on lifting the lid.  

That's all from Wistera Bend for now.


No comments:

Post a Comment