*not a horror film duckies, just normal, annual clean-up craziness for April in the Catskills.

Today I will be working outside with my branch lopper, and my chainsaw, both of which are run by battery, which batteries are charging ‘as we speak’, and omg, if you’ve never used a chainsaw, it’s so so so much fun, and I highly recommend it ~ especially if you’re in a lousy, I want to break shit mood. And, of course, safety comes first. If you’re right-handed, keep that left arm stiff while operating the saw, vicey-versy if you’re left-handed you need to keep the right arm stiff as a board, wear protective goggles, do NOT bite off more than you can chew (egos in check, always, when operating any shit that can cut your fingers and other extremities off, keeping in mind that it takes only 2 – 5 minutes to bleed out a.k.a. die, corpse up, kick the bucket if an artery is hit), wear glovies, and avoid pants that have a lot of fabric like bell-bottoms or extree doo-dads hanging off that could get caught in the chain, and long sleeved shirts are best too, also worn tight to the body as again no extree fabric to get caught up. A hat is good too – the number of branches I’ve lopped off at the proper angle to drop just so over thattaway that have instead landed thissaway and on my noggin is more than a few (ouch). 

I am doing April clean-up outside; it’s the spring month when it’s not too hot for me to be doing tree work that is hard, exhausting, and deeply rewarding as well as long overdue on a property that’s been in my family for over a century, but which has been in my hands – after six decades as a rental – for just four years. Once the house where lived, in my grandparent’s day, the hired hands for the family farm, the inside needed so much work, 98% done, I didn’t get a lot accomplished outside until last year, but now my full attention has turned to the property surrounding the house. I do what I can (not a whole lot, TBH, but some) with dead or struggling saplings, and with the removal of dead branches, and the numerous stinky whatever bush/trees no one seems to know the name of; these suckers flower but are the main head bashing criminals, growing up like a twisted rope of a mess that challenges me to my stubborn core, and yes, they stink when cut. They are mainly on the edges of the property, along stone walls I have begun to restore, proliferating during an age of neglect in what once was a corn or hay field depending on the year. 

Everything hurts. Including my eyelashes. 

A slight exaggeration. But, chainsawing saplings, and dragging them along with dead or live tree branches – even just the medium and small ones – is a lot and, it really is so much fun, it makes me smile just typing it out. I write this instead of finishing a piece on gender and sexuality because that subject is so broad, so deep, and so in need of concentration, I worry I’m too exhausted to do it justice even in this short form. I practically can’t move, and ~ I’m heading back out there shortly once the batteries are all charged up, because despite the fact that a dear friend of mine is horrified/thrilled I use a chainsaw at all, I know like I know like I know that, girl, it’s fun. And, if I do an hour or two or three a day, every April day, it’ll get done. Vroom, vroom!!