Monday, March 1
Today’s topic: A tree's revenge on a wood-burning stove. This saga started back in April 2009. Actually earlier than that. Mom and dad purchased a wood burning stove back in 1987. This device has helped keep our abode warm throughout the years.
Well, last April, an oak tree in our backyard took its revenge out on the smoke stack connected to the stove for all those years of burning its kindred. The tree would have cut the trailer in half if it weren’t for another oak tree breaking its fall.
Before winter hit, we found someone to repair the chimney which meant part got repaired but other parts were replaced. Everything went okay until four days till Christmas. Suddenly, smoke began backing up into the trailer from every joint of the stove. The cause turned out to be soot clogging up the screen at the top of the stack.
That tree may be acting out its revenge because we have been burning wood from it in the stove.
The very top of the stack can be removed. We had the original repairman come and clean it. It turned out to be an easy fix. He removed the top and tapped it with a stick. Soot dropped to the ground and the screen became unclogged.
The next time it hit (about 4 weeks later) I planned on climbing a ladder to see if I could tap the top with a stick. My weight became a problem. On terra firma, I am fairly sure-footed. On those thin rungs of that ladder, I was not. This time a nephew came to the rescue. We also cut a few holes in the screen to see if that would help.
It did because it lasted over a month. Yesterday, smoke started to seep into the trailer. Apparently, the holes I cut into the screen did help but they were not enough. With my nephew unavailable, we had to come up with another solution.
Out came the slingshot and a handful of marbles. Yes, you read right: A slingshot and marbles. I have not shot a slingshot in over fifteen years. The marbles I got off of eBay (5 pounds of them).
To my surprise, the first marble glanced off of the screen and a large portion of the black material clogging up the screen fell. I guess I was a bit too cocky in that the next four shots missed.
One hit the house and bounced off of the hood of my mom’s car and landed on the hood of my car. The next shot went over the top of the stack by 2 inches. The next two shots went left and then right of the stack. Out of 12 shots, I managed to hit it 5 times. If my aim had been better, I would have only needed the two shots that cleared up the problem.
Why am I telling you this? Hell, I don’t know. I just thought it was an unusual solution to take care of a problem. I will probably try to practice with the slingshot so I can increase my accuracy a bit. I just need to find a way to do it so I won’t lose to many of my marbles.
You see, some are already saying that I have lost my marbles but I still have many of them. If I keep shooting them off though, I would really be losing my marbles.
This brings up a scene I remember in the Robin Williams’ movie, The Hook. Peter Pan finds a bag of marbles and said to Tinkerbell, “He really did lose his marbles, didn't he?”
Then near the end of the movie, Peter gives Tootles his bag of marbles and Tootles said, “Look Wendy, I haven’t lost my marbles after all.”
I hope this places a smile on your face. On that note, I’ll say, “Have a nice day.” - Clark Stone.