Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crossing Bridges

Yesterday, I managed to get in over my head on a tree-branch trimming project.  I was trimming some branches with a chainsaw, and after getting the little branches I wanted, I saw some bigger branches to trim.  The bigger ones were starting to brush the shingles on the roof of the house, and I thought they should go.

Well, the first branch came down without a problem.  The second branch?  The chain jumped off on the chainsaw.  So, I tried to put the chain back on. I put it on backwards, and it locked up.  I put in on right, and it jumped again.  Therefore, I called for help.

One of my deacons came over with a bigger chainsaw and a pole saw.  (He’s also a man I went to college with when neither of us were preachers or deacons.  Or men, for that matter, we were still boys.)  We ended up sawing through what was left of the limb with a pole saw, and then went out on the farm to get a trailer and haul off the tree butchery I had done. 

While we were out on the farm, Jonathan asked I wanted to see the reservoir on the farm.  Now, typically it just holds water for crops, but this time of year, it holds something else.  Ducks.  Lots of ducks.  In fact, around here, “reservoir” gets replaced with “duck water” this season.  Not fall, not holiday, but duck season.  I’m starting to get involved in this whole idea of shoot it and eat it, so I was curious. 

What I didn’t count on was what it would take to get there.  The reservoir is on the other side of the drainage bayou, and the only way from where we were was across the pump pipes.  There was a bridge there, once, made of grain bin flooring put across the pipes, but that fell in, and now, there are 2 pipes I’d guess are a little more than a foot in diameter.  So, to go see the future dinner, I mean ducks, we walked across a pipe.  This was not an easy task, since there’s no hand hold or anything else, and it was about a 6-foot drop into the bayou.  (We need rain, it should be about a 6-inch drop.)

Jonathan went across like it was nothing, and then waited for me.  And waited.  Both directions, going and coming.  I made it across, though it took a lot of effort in balance and a few false starts.

The view, I must admit, was breathtaking.  Not of me on the pipe, but of the water, the ducks, the trees, the sunset.  I wished I would have carried something to shoot with. Not a shotgun, but something in the Canon-Olympus-Nikon range.  The colors, the majesty, the tranquility.  The sight was amazing.  A red-orange sky, a slight wave in a small lake, with tree stumps here and there, and then little spots all across the water. The spots?  Ducks.  Lots of ducks. (Jonathan estimated a couple of thousand.)  Then, a few flying in, a few flying out.

After a few minutes, back across the pipe and out.  (And finding out that, if one were headed out there to hunt, you come in from the far side of the farm and drive in.)

What to say?

1.) Sometimes we cross bridges to where we want to be.  Sometimes we have to cross pipes, because the bridges aren’t there anymore.  For this sight, had I gone a few years ago, there was a bridge, but now it’s a pipe.  In life, sometimes we miss an opportunity to get somewhere via bridge, but we still should go.  Cross the pipe and get there.

2.) Just because the pipe is easy for you, it’s not automatically easy for someone else.  Be patient, and talk them through it.

3.) I can’t say I could have crossed that pipe with a shotgun and a bag of duck decoys.  I would have been terrified if I had been carrying even my cell phone, knowing a false move would have destroyed the phone!  Don’t carry what you don’t need.

4.) Take where the opportunity is.  I could have said “no” to crossing the pipe, but I would have never seen that sight.  It was worth it.


What pipes are there for you to cross?  Take the time, take the risk. 



  1. Hello Doug, I came here via Voices.

    some things are worth the trip, this post is one of them. We never know what God has in store for us as we make our way through the difficult circumstances and situations to get there. It's wasn't hard for me to click on your name...can't imagine taking your trip to the resevoir. But I can rejoice in knowing you have the determination to go where others might not, and share stories when others have not. I love your Christmas post before this one. Thanks for the ideas. selahV

  2. selahV,

    Thanks for coming over from Voices. I'm thinking about driving back over and taking a picture of the pipe. Some folks will probably think I'm a chicken for having an issue with it, but oh well!

    And thank you for the encouragement on the Christmas post. Glad to spark some ideas!



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