That Burning Sensation

burn baby burnGreetings Gentle Readers.  Today’s topic is about burning wood.  Specifically:  burning the tree tops and branches left over from the logging operation that was done on our property.  We selectively harvested the lumber grade trees a couple of years ago.  And the fetching Mrs. Intrepid Traveler and I are still cleaning up the remains left by the loggers.  It is hard, dirty work, but my wife feels lucky that she can do it.  I thought it would be helpful for me to offer my suggestions to you if you have a wife and have recently logged your property.  Here are some handy tips for assisting her in getting your property restored to a park-like condition:

Plan ahead

Check the weather report.  You can’t burn when it is too dry, too windy, too wet, too dark, or too hot.  In other words, you shouldn’t ever burn.  If you are like me, you look at bad burning weather as a dare by Mother Nature to ignite giant piles of wood in spite of the risks.  Since you can’t change the weather, just roll the proverbial dice and light it up.  Firefighters have jobs for a reason.  Keep them employed.

Start early

Since fires are hot, you don’t want to be standing near it during the heat of the day.  Start early in the morning.  But first take time to eat the hearty breakfast that your wife has fixed for you.  She can start working outside on the wood debris right after she tidies up the kitchen. Don’t rush her.  Use this time to read the newspaper.  You need to stay up on current events, you know.  And you can check the weather report.   Since you are the male, you are the one designated to light the bonfire.  There is a “Man Rule” written about this somewhere. This rule can be found in the same place where it says men should only do the cooking when outdoors; it is OK for men to smell odd; and men can scratch inappropriate areas of their body in public.  After you have ignited the pile of wood and know it is burning well, let your wife tend the fire.  It is time for you to take that richly deserved nap.

Use Mechanical devices

Since you are the male, you get to use the mechanical devices.  In my case, it is a tractor.  I drive it in to the forest where the debris is to be burned.  Since there is only one seat on a tractor, the wife has to walk.  But that’s OK.  It is good exercise and she wants to keep that girlish figure you fell in love with when you were dating her.  The tractor will do all the heavy lifting.  I use it to drag the big logs in to create a pile.  My wife is there to unhook the chain and re-hook it on to the next big log.  I have to do the real work of steering the tractor, which can be difficult.  This is a skill that a woman just doesn’t have.  Women drivers have a bad reputation for a reason.

Wear appropriate protection.

Your wife should have good leather gloves to keep her hands soft.  She should have a broad brimmed had to keep the sun from her face. And she should have long pants and shirt to protect her skin from scratches.  She’ll be the one crawling around the tree stumps and branches, so let her buy the proper protection.  A real woman would prefer to have the right gear so she can work hard but stay looking young rather than to use that money for dining out or on a new vacuum cleaner.

Be persistent

I don’t know how it is in your forest, but our place has about 30 acres of wooded area that was selectively cut.  This means there is a huge number of tree tops and branches that are on the ground.  I know that nature will eventually cause this wood to decay but I can’t wait that long.  When I look out in to the woods and see a tangle of tree branches, it hurts my delicate sensibilities.  So it is important for me to instill in my wife the understanding that this job will take time.  She needs to plan her day around piling and burning wood.  If you anticipate ever needing to burn massive amounts of wood debris, you might want to marry a petite woman.  My theory is that petite women don’t have as far to bend over to pick the branches up. However, I did not marry a petite woman.  I failed to anticipate this future need for my spouse.  I chose my wife, instead, on old fashion values:  how much money her family had.

And finally

If the fires get out of hand because you ignored the weather report or the burn ban, do not fret.  There are always excuses for the fire raging out of control and burning down every house in the county.  All you have to do is start a new fire near your neighbor’s yard and claim it started there when he was burning a printed copy of these instructions.  Or better yet, blame it on his wife.  Everyone knows women can’t be trusted with fire, unsupervised, unless it is safely ensconced in a kitchen stove.

I know this is the age of YouTube and most people get their instructions from videos rather than reading them.  But taking the advice of my attorney, I did not do a video of how to burn tree limbs.  He said it could be “evidence” to use against me in a divorce hearing.  Divorce?  Why would I want to get a divorce?  I still have acres of wood yet to burn.

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