Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm Married to a Sawyer

With retirement after a 37 year career in mining just around the corner—for my husband that is—I began to think of the wonderful times ahead. As newlyweds of just a year, we had been through several life moments—my retirement and move from Virginia back home to Georgia, his mother’s passing, my son’s marriage, his back surgery and recovery and his cat adapting to two more in the house! We came through the year just fine but the three cats need regular visits with the cat whisperer.

His new life meant finally realizing a lifelong dream of buying a sawmill. I remember the first time he dropped that little bombshell. Buy a sawmill? As a visual person, I pictured a huge operation over several acres where truckloads of trees were brought in by loggers that huge grabbers would unload from the beat-up logging trucks and transport them to a large platform to be cut into boards for Lowe’s or Home Depot. But honey, we’re retired! Don’t we want to travel, see the world, visit our relatives in California and Hawaii, friends in Alaska? Don’t we? I offered no encouragement to buy a sawmill. Of course, he had no idea what I was thinking because I had no idea what kind of sawmill he wanted—until October two years ago.

 At the Georgia National Fair in Perry, we sat in the stands waiting on the quarter horse team roping competition looking over our program when he lit up like a firecracker. “Let’s go get some peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream.” That enticement worked well and off we went to the sawmill aisle.  

Tim of Wood-Mizer gave us a wonderful demonstration with a huge log on the bed of the portable sawmill. That blade sliced through that huge oak log like a knife in butter and made the prettiest boards you’ve ever seen with the most refreshing woodsy smell. I was hooked! As a visual person, I began to picture a dark brown wood board fence around our pasture and down our long driveway with the crape myrtles and Bradford pear trees flanking either side. Hmmm, a sawmill might be nice. But he didn’t commit even with the fair special. I guess some dreams are too big to grasp so easily and we walked back to the team-roping event with our dessert.

I kept thinking about that wood board fence though. Two weeks later, we went to the Sunbelt Ag Expo at Moultrie, Georgia, “North America’s Premier Farm Show”® where you can see displays of every piece of farm equipment in any color. We got to the gate and headed toward the sawmills! Several companies’ representatives demonstrated their product but we both liked Wood-Mizer. We picked it up a month later at the Newnan facility. What a great day!

He’s had so much fun with that sawmill. Friends have offered trees they wanted cut down and he’s turned the boards into tables, benches and shelving. Several weeks ago, a huge pine fell in the city park and with the outside air temperatures one hundred plus, he cut that Georgia pine up in four fourteen-foot sections. He winched them up on the trailer one at a time and, three gallons of tea and two trips later, that seventy-five year-old pine lay in our back yard. The boards are cut, stacked and drying to eventually become a wrap-around front porch we’ll enjoy with friends and family.

 I think my fence is still dropping acorns on somebody’s south forty! 


  1. You may be a writer but you also entertain and dazzle with your words. I was with you every second while reading this and laughed aloud when your husband "lit up like a firecracker." I love that expression!

    On a serious note, it is nice to enjoy the privilege of living dreams we've carried for a long time, if not a lifetime.

  2. what mill did he get

  3. I worked for Wood_Mizer for eighteen years and always loved hearing stories such as yours. So glad you are enjoying your "retirement." Sawing Fever" Once you catch it there is no known cure!