Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Latest Addition To Our Family

Over the years, Graham and I have often thought we should have had one more kiddo. Four children has definitely been a blast, but five? Five would have been awesome. Think about it- that's enough McFarland kids to make our very own basketball team.  Who wouldn't want that?? For Graham and I, the joyous pandemonium children bring to the table is our favorite flavor. But alas, despite my obvious youthful appearance, I think that ship has sailed. So what's a man like Graham to do when faced with this kind of dilemma? He's gotta think outside of the box. He's gotta get creative. Which is how I think we ended up with the latest addition to our family. Here he is and his name is Chip.
Not quite what you thought I was talking about, is it? Despite his straight forward good looks, this chain saw is so much more than he appears.  Which is why he deserves a strong name worthy of his character- a name like Chip. How do I know he's not just any old tool in the shed? 
Because of this picture. Look at that smile on Graham's face. See the happy glow in his eyes and the spring in his step? That's what you call a proud papa- a man who feels like he's won the lottery with the latest expansion of his family.  Except instead of grazing on pizza rolls and Gatorade, this kid's favorite meal is gasoline. But I'm getting ahead of myself.  This is how I first came to meet the newest member of our family.
I was in my bathroom, putting on my makeup, when Colleen walked in and calmly said,"Did you know that Dad is outside and he just cut down one of the trees?" After being married to Graham for 25 years, information like that doesn't ruffle my feathers anymore. I know he has serious skill in all things "manly" and can handle an ax with ease. My main thought at the time was, "He's gonna be so sore tomorrow. I wonder where I put that Motrin?" That's when I heard a chain saw start up. In my own back yard. Wait a minute. That was a sound I hadn't heard before. I decided my winged eyeliner could wait and went to go check things out. 
The first person I bumped into was Reagan. He was shuttling small pieces of wood to and from our wood pile. Nothing nefarious going on there, despite his uncanny resemblance to Obi Wan Kenobi.  I went around the corner to see what else I could find.
 And saw this. Graham was focused on the job at hand, so I waited until he took a break to ask him a few questions. The first being, "Hey, when did you get the chainsaw?" Don't get me wrong- I knew he was gonna get one soon, but it was 8:30 in the morning, on a Saturday. How did it get here? It was like the stork had just dropped it off on our doorstep or something. No doubt, though, even I could tell this chainsaw was a game changer. They were flying through that green wood like it was nobody's business.
Ten inch tree trunk? No problem. Chip cut through that log like a hot knife through butter. Graham was able to clear so much wood, in fact, they ended up with a small mountain of stumps. They were too big in diameter for firewood and needed to be split. That way, they would be easier to handle and easier to stack on my wood pile. You'd think Graham would ask Chip to help out. After all, he's got what it takes. But no. Where's the fun in that?  
 This is what they did instead. We had our version of the Duluth Trading Company Lumberjack Games. First up was Ian. The object of the game was to split the wood in the least amount of strokes. Notice his perfect form- eye on the prize. Just like hitting a golf ball. Ian took 7 strokes to get the job done.
 Next up- Reagan. He used a more non-conventional swing in hopes his long arms would do most of the work. Despite the constant razzing of Graham and Ian, he was able to split this beast in 8 strokes.
Last, but not least, Big Graham stepped up to the plate. He did a bit of stretching and some neck popping before he turned to the boys and said, "Now I'll show you how it's done." Nothing like a like a little King of the Mountain among the McFarland guys to start off the weekend. And in just 1..2..3 strokes, he split that whopper right in half. The Boys had to give it to him. He'd won it fair and square. But poor Chip. Not only had he been left out of the competition, but there was really nothing he could say.

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