Sometimes a small joy can bring pleasure even in the midst of adversity. After a storm blew over a massive oak (more later) in the front yard of our little farmhouse, it has been anything but a quiet week out near the prairie. If there is a muscle in my body that is not aching, it must have been hiding out for the last three days.
So, joys have been few.
But, there were several, including the help of Brenda’s cousins Bud Henderson and Elizabeth Caldwell in cleaning up the remains. It is always good to know that help is near if you need it.
What I will remember, though, is a simple little thing, and I have found in life it is the simple things that add great joy, at least for me.
What was this surprise? Just this: a man taught me to sharpen a chainsaw blade. Now before you discount it, understand that this is pretty important if you ever need to use a chainsaw. It’s like being told the secret of a magic trick from Houdini himself. It can free a person from a lifetime of being at the mercy of independent minded tinkerers or uncaring service clerks. It is a joy all right. Believe me.
The really interesting thing was the source, a man who truly represents the spirit of our great country. Jason Rowland was the man who sawed the massive trunk and limbs into manageable sections for us. He owns a tree service and is quite well known in this part of the state. Asking if he knows his business is like asking if Chet Atkins could play the guitar.
He stays busy, so it was a surprise when he, after realizing I was headed to have a chain sharpened, took time from his busy schedule to not only sharpen it for me but to show me how it is done. I have always wondered but the process eluded me.
It seems that today we encounter far too many businesses that insist on providing the absolute minimum level of service possible. Then, when we run across a business person who goes an extra step, we remember the things that are great about America.
Now before you think that appreciating a thing so small indicates a small life, that’s not altogether true. I’ve survived a war (albeit a small one), a storm at sea (albeit a brief one), and 41 years of marriage (albeit a superior one). I once dined on the top floor of one of the World Trade Center Towers. I’ve stood in the remains of Chichen Itza and before the Emerald Buddha of Thailand. I once swam from the mouth of a small tunnel and floated suspended above where the Grand Cayman wall drops three miles to the bottom of the ocean.
But learning to sharpen a chainsaw blade … now that is really something.