The Texas Chainsaw …

This week’s paraprosdokian —  Take my advice — I’m not using itchainsaw-1

I have to admit it. I was a city boy. I was raised in Dallas, but have over the years worked my way down until I’m no longer living in a town of any size. Here’s one of the situations that moved me away from being a city boy.

Some years ago, my wife and I moved into the middle of a forest in east Texas. We are surrounded by trees – pines, oaks, and hickories mostly. Our driveway is about three-quarters of a mile long. Our nearest neighbor is about half a mile away as the crow flies and about three miles by road.

One night some years ago, we came home from work, settling in for the night, not expecting to leave before morning. But then, Earlene said, “It’s your birthday. Let go out for a fancy dinner.”

tree-downWe traveled to Tyler, had a leisurely dinner and returned home about nine o’clock. But as we were driving in, a large tree had fallen across our driveway. It was too big for me to move by myself, but between the two of us, we were able to push it off enough to get the car by.

About five in the morning, Earlene woke me. She had severe pain in her abdomen. And it only got worse. So, I helped her into the car and raced to the operating-roomemergency room of the nearby hospital. They quickly determined she had a ruptured appendix and wheeled her into the operating room.

The next afternoon, I was sitting in her room as she slept. Suddenly, my eyes popped open wide. If we had not gone out to dinner, I would have first discovered the tree blocking the road at five in the morning. The tree was too big for me to move by myself. What would I have done?   While I had met a couple of neighbors, miles away, I did not have their phone numbers. I had a small hatchet and a machete. It might have taken me over an hour using only a hatchet to cut through the tree enough to move it .

I checked Earlene. She was sleeping soundly, heavily sedated. I told the nurses I was leaving.

I drove to the nearest farm store and bought my first chainsaw. I would not be trapped in our property without a viable means to get out.

chainsaw-2Now, years later, we have several chainsaws. We always have at least two good, heavy duty,chainsaw-3 working gasoline chainsaws. We have an electric chainsaw for light work close to the house or barn. We have a small chainsaw on a pole for trimming limbs on standing trees.

I have pushed my city boy persona out of the way, and the first shove came about five a.m. on a trip to the emergency room.

James R. Callan

Visit Callan’s author page by clicking here.

And leave us your thoughts on chainsaws. Thanks.


9 thoughts on “The Texas Chainsaw …

  1. That’s quite a story, Jim. I live in the woods too, and have had trees fall across the driveway in storms. Unfortunately, I have an electric chainsaw — useless without power. Nor do I know how to use it. God was really looking after you and Earlene. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. I know what you mean. When you have lots of trees – particularly pine trees, you have leaning trees and you can preempt them, or you can hustle and get them out of the way after they fall. Chainsaws are very important if you live in the middle of a forest as we do. Thanks for stopping by, Lynne.

  3. Chainsaws are to a country boy as a . . . well, doggone, I was going to make a comparison with something very important to a city boy. But also having been on both sides of the fence (although as a girl – not a boy) I must concede there is nothing as important in the city as a chainsaw is in the country. Just last week we observed a tree on the property line of our land that was leaning dangerously over the public road. Fearing it would fall the rest of the way on some passer-by, we got permission from the Sheriff’s department to fell it onto the road. Ten minutes and three chainsaws later, the tree had been dispatched and the road cleared.

    Enjoying your blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *