Publisher Letter: Satisfying the Inner Chipmunk

Photo of Bob Hunt, publisher of Montana Senior News


Heritage Living Center

By BOB HUNT, Publisher

This month my spouse and I reach the benchmark of 31 years of marriage. Looking back it seems the time has flown by very quickly. The one thing that remains constant is the change of seasons. If there are any trends in this part of the country, it’s the encroachment of winter. It can come at any time now and surprise us, or, if my three decades of wisdom depict anything, it will come on the 15th of October. Precluded by an Indian summer.

When we were newly married, it was fun to go seek firewood in the mountain forests and save money on heating through the winter months. Back then a delivered cord of wood was 50 bucks. Today it’s much more. The woodshed I built years ago coincidentally holds just the right amount of tightly packed wood for an entire winter’s warmth.

Whether I buy the wood and have it delivered, or I cut, split, and stack it myself, the thought of a full woodshed satisfies my inner chipmunk.

Years ago my wife always helped gather wood with me. It was fun and we had the adventure of being in the woods smelling fresh cut wood.

That was three chainsaws ago.

I can tell you about all the chainsaws I have owned, but the standout remains my Jonsered. I’m not sure which birthday it was. Maybe my 35th, a guy named Dale worked at a local saw shop and told me about a trade that had come in. 

“It’s a real logger saw and has the power to cut tons of trees. With a bar on it as long as your arm.” I asked Dale to hold it for me until I could scrape up the funds to come get it. Then about a week or so later, I saw Dale and asked if I could come by and purchase that used pearl. He said no. Somebody had come in and bought it. 

I was sad because, at the time, buying a new chainsaw was out of my price range. My entry-level PoulanPro-hardware-store saw would have to weather another autumn.

Several weeks later on my birthday, which normally comes with buttercream frosting cake, my wife presented me a fancy red saw. She got wind of the special trade at the saw shop and used her tip money to buy it without me knowing. Dale was in on the surprise. It was one of my most memorable birthday gifts. 

I have the saw today, and it’s ready and tuned for this season’s filling of the shed.

The days of the married couple gathering wood together have passed with time because now it’s my “health program.” I now do all the gathering, cutting, and splitting. I do have a wood splitter. Although dangerous, it’s a welcome addition to the firewood tool set.

Now the nights are colder and the days not so hot. I will get started on filling the almost empty shed. 

I’ll try and get it full by mid-October, because my inner chipmunk keeps reminding me it’s time to complete the task. MSN

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