Among the treasures and pleasures of cottage living are the people you meet. Typically they are like minded folk who enjoy the same types of things, people who have all joined the same club, the cottage club. And among those treasures you often get to enjoy a meal or two in the company of your cottage club neighbors.
Wendy and I were able to enjoy that pleasure tonight, dining in fine style at Lonesome Larry’s cottage, with supper provided by the always charming, and oft referred to here, GGOTL, Gorgeous Gwen Of The Lake, Ol’ Lonesome’s wife.
But I am getting ahead of myself…first I want to tell you about Lonesome Larry and the chainsaw….
Ol’ Lonesome and I were busy today, as busy as two old retired guys can get, salvaging firewood from trees being cut down to facilitate a new cottage being built nearby.
It’s one of those fun projects that old retired guys like to do involving chainsaws and four wheelers and free stuff. In this case the free stuff was maple firewood and we were determined to get as much of the free stuff as we could before supper or a myocardial infraction interfered.
Everything was going pretty good. We were cutting and piling firewood on one of the trailers Lonesome keeps for stealing firew…I mean obtaining free firewood from the new neighbors.
We chunked the heavy maple logs up into liftable pieces, loaded it in the four wheeler trailer and towed it back to be deposited on our growing woodpile. That is until…
Ol’ Lonesome ran over the chainsaw with the four wheeler.
Now, if he tells you this story, he will likely tell you that I laid the chainsaw on the four wheeler without securing it to anything and when he
popped the clutch and sped away pulled away to go back for another load of wood the chainsaw “fell off the four wheeler”.
Well…somewhere in the middle of that is what really happened, but neither one of us is really sure what happened, other than that there was a rather loud crack, then a hollow ringing sound and then the sound of…well….language unfit for my delicate sensibilities.
I was caught off guard somewhat, given that it all happened quite quickly, while I had my back turned, looking around the construction site for any lumber that might be available for kindling. Kindling like that is best gathered at night, after the construction crew leaves, so as not to bother them while they are working. I figured we might be able to find some in the stack of 2X6’s piled neatly by the side of the driveway.
I snapped out of my kindling planning rather quickly as ephitate after ephitate broke the sultry, peaceful quiet of a foggy Spring day beside the lake.
“&%^%$#@-*&^%#@#@#” cried Larry, “%$#@#$#@-@#$%$#$%$??*&^&*&” he continued…For a second I thought he had either run over the dog or hit his head and now was speaking in tongues…I have no idea what “speaking in tongues” actually is, but I wondered if perhaps that was what he was doing.
%^%$%$$##@ Chain Saw!!! he groaned as he jumped from the four wheeler with a rather sprightly leap I might add, the most sprightly I had seen him all day. He reached down and picked it up, the red Jon Serad chainsaw looked OK to me from a distance, but as soon as he grabbed the one piece handle and I saw it was now a two piece handle, I knew there was a problem.
Larry, in his finest moment, described the problem…”The &%^$#@^%$ is %$%#@#%^&*&&*& and the &%$%$#@$^%^%$%^%@#@$ handle is broken !!”
This was followed by some further descriptions of the issue, as he explained what was wrong. As he described it, “The %$%$##$%^%$$#_**%$%$#@#$%-&^%^&^%$#@#@#@$#^%%$$*&*&^%$#@#$%^& %$%$#@#$&^%$%^# and then %^%$#@#%*&^%$%#@#$ because $#$#@#$&^%&*&^&**&%$#$@ handle is %$%$#@#%$#&%*%$# broken.”
This was followed by more of the same.
“All is not lost.” I said, in my calm, church-like choir singer voice, “We can fix it, or I’ll just go get my saw and we can keep cutting.” I had little faith that we could fix it, but I wasn’t about to tell him that.
I don’t think Larry had a lot of faith in my chainsaw, as he nodded, then said something about “&%^&^%$#$*&%^%” and then dashed off toward his camp, shouting something about contacting Dave, “There is still time for him to bring his if they haven’t left yet!” With that he disappeared into the camp. I was reminded of the telegraph dispatcher, Vince Coleman, who had sent a message that stopped a train seconds before the Halifax Explosion of 1917…but that is a whole nother story….
When he came back outside, he appeared calmer, having gotten the message through to Dave in time. Even I felt relieved, like I had a small part in stopping the train.
We took the damaged chainsaw to his garage workshop and had a look at the situation.
Considering it had been dropped and/or run over by a four wheeler, things weren’t all bad. Nothing a little piece of metal for a brace and some black electrical tape won’t fix, was the agreement we came to after mulling over the damages like surgeons consulting on a major operation.
In no time we had a myriad of parts all over the workbench and the broken handle removed from the saw and in our hands, ready for repair. A piece of pipe hanger metal for a brace and a roll of electrical tape and it was good as new if not better. The electrical tape kind of cleaned the saw up a bit. We’re not sure the chain brake still works, but, as we agreed, that is just one of those safety features that you don’t need as long as you are careful.
Now all that was left was to put it all back together. Here is a brief synopis of how that went….$%$#$%$#@ and $#$%^%$#@ and oh %^%$##$#@$%$#$&*^&%$#$#!
I briefly considered casting the devil saw into the lake and running for home, but figured he might run me down with the four wheeler, owing to my advancing years and lack of running stamina. So we persevered.
All was going quite well until one of us, who shall remain nameless, but it wasn’t me, turned the chainsaw cover assembly upside down to “clean out the sawdust” and a screw fell out bounced off the steel toe of his bright orange rubber chainsaw boots and disappeared in the gravel in his driveway. Yep, it appears Larry had a screw loose.
I briefly reconsidered my prior suggestion that we take the chainsaw out of the workshop and into the driveway so we could see better…in hindsight that may not have been a good idea.
Now you know what happened…yup…more %$%$#$ and $%$#$#@#$%. I kept my eye on him because he kinda looked…well…let’s just say I kept an eye on him.
“This a typical &#$@%$# day here on the point” Larry said, as he peered into the gravel, looking for the missing screw, “Just a typical %$%$#@# day, this kind of stuff goes on all the #$#@–#@#$# time around here.”
We searched for that screw for about a half an hour. Two middle aged guys in rubber boots bent over peering at the ground, duck walking around the yard, looking for what is the equivalent of a needle in a haystack. Had we been quacking, I think we may have got the attention of the black ducks in the cove, but the sounds we were making were more along the lines of %$%$#@#%…well…you get the picture.
At long last we abandoned the screw search when Larry took a similar one off the his son’s outboard motor. It fit quite well. He muttered something about the outboard working fine without that particular screw, it wouldn’t be missed.
So…the end of a long day of working was followed up by supper. It was a delightful new recipe that Gwen, in the way of women everywhere, managed to create with a little of this and a little of that and wow…it was good. I enjoyed it, went back for seconds, as did everyone at the table.
It was then that I asked, in cottager innocence, “What’s this called? It’s really good.”
Larry spoke before Gwen had a chance, leaning forward into the table, smiling as he replied, saying, “This is Gwen’s recipe for Rocky Point Slop”
I didn’t see the ceramic casserole dish hit Larry, much like I didn’t see the chainsaw fall off the four wheeler, but I heard it, a loud crack, followed by a hollow ringing sound. Suffice to say, some electrical tape and a splint or two, and he will be good as new in a week to ten days….if we can find the missing screw.