Cutting With The Grain

This is a short story about me as a child with my Gramps.  Please read and enjoy.

Cutting with the Grain

Like most young boys when I was 11 I wanted to be a man and do man jobs.  Jobs like chopping wood and lifting heavy things, you know man jobs.  I was asked by my Gramps one day while staying with him on his property in Yamhill Oregon to go out and chop up some kindling, so I was quite ready and proud.  I went out to the shad, took up the axe wheeled it way over my head and slammed it into the log.  I drove the axe about two inches into the log.  After being out there for some time for what was a rather simple task Gramps came looking for me.  I had finally cut one log into slivers and was starting on the next.  “Your doing that all wrong” Gramps said.  “Here let me show you” he picked up the axe pulled it back about a foot from the target and sliced through the whole log.  I was amazed, I knew my Gramps was strong but that was really strong.  He then turned to me, “You see that is how you do it.”  Well sure if you’re that strong, I thought to myself.  “I am not as strong as you, Gramps?”  I said to him.  He laughed and then explained that it was more about technique than strength.  He told me that you just have to cut with the grain.  The odd part is I carry that lesson with me everyday; you have to cut with the grain, and use the right technique for every job. 

By Nick Westerman



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