Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Sharpening the Saw

Elementary principal days.
When I worked for the school district, we talked about "sharpening the saw" in a metaphysical sense. It came from reading and putting into practice the seven habits of highly effective people advocated by Stephen Covey. It was about renewing the four dimensions of our lives, the physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional states.

Moving to our float cabin on Powell Lake took care of all those dimensions for Wayne and I in one fell swoop.

Our float cabin home at the "wall" in Hole in the wall.

One test in self sufficiency was getting and preparing our own wood for winter. Summer and fall driftwood gathering seasons.

The barge helps gather driftwood.

We prefer pieces that don't require splitting, but sometimes larger logs float up to our cabin and beg to be taken. All of the wood has to be cut to size to fit into our Kozi wood-burning stove.

A driftwood log that floating into our water lease.

An important step was learning about chainsaws. Our good friend and mentor John helped Wayne pick one that would fit our needs, a Stihl, and taught him how to use it. And use it he does. 

Preparing firewood for the floating woodshed.

Wayne does the chainsaw cutting, I help with the splitting. In the beginning we used a stump on our wood storage float. That was work!

After ten years of doing it the hard way, Wayne got me the best present, an electric log splitter that runs on a gas generator. Since I'm the photographer of the family, here's Wayne and John giving it the trial run.  Yes I know, we were so excited we didn't put on our regular safety equipment: boots, gloves, safety glasses and ear defenders.

Finally comes the task I like best, sharpening the saw. John taught me how to do it. Each tooth on the chain has to get uniform attention.  Sharpening the saw has now taken on a whole new meaning.

I know it's right when I can feel the edge just catch the skin of my finger after several strokes with the file. A felt pen mark ensures that I go around the chain one time before reversing the saw and filing the teeth that face in the opposite direction. If I do my job well, the saw cuts through the wood like butter.

One good thing about Wayne and I is that we each like different parts of the same task. When we work together as a team, the result is better than if either of us did it alone.

It may not be what Covey had in mind, but our saw is both physically and metaphysically sharp. How about yours? -- Margy


  1. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Margy, Hi! me here.. Hey, how's the fishin?
    Gotta eat fish, right?

    1. It's good in the spring. Our season runs from April 1 through October 31. They say it isn't as good as the "old days" but what is? - Margy

  2. So very lovely! I admire your independence and spirit!

    1. Thanks. It's a great adventure. - Margy

  3. We got an electric splitter, too, and it makes the task so much easier, especially when we have to cut it small enough for our wood cook stove. Just picked up an electric pole saw so we can delimb juniper trees before we cut them down. Less time on tall ladders for sure!

    1. Having the right tools makes life easier so there is plenty of time to enjoy outdoor life. - Margy

  4. A great partnership!

    1. Yes, we work well together. It's good since are spend so much time at the cabin (and even when we go to town) as a couple. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy