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Columns

June 16, 2009

Travels with Uncle Chet: Obama’s cause is health reform

COLUMBUS _ It was a sunny day, a week before the start of summer and we were cleaning up, inside and out. Hon and the kids were going through closets, getting out shorts and building a large pile of outgrown clothes, soon to be oil rags.



Uncle Chet and I were poking through the woodpile, culling punky logs.



``You’ve got brown ants AND black ants in here.’’ He quickly dropped a cherry log into the cart, brushed off his hands.



``We had black ones inside this spring,’’ I said. ``I think they came in on this stuff.’’



``Hate those things.’’



``It took awhile to get rid of them,’’ I said.



``You have to find out where they’re coming in,’’ he said. ``They always go to the ground.’’



``I found them,’’ I said.



``You can hold onto wood too long,’’ he observed. ``Half of this stack is no better than Dick Cheney.’’



``Now that is low,’’ I said, and the light metal cart behind the four-wheeler was nearly full as I dropped in some rotten beech. ``You drive; I’ll walk this load,’’ he said and I fired up Old Reliable, slowly circled behind the barn.



Uncle Chet and Daisy, our Springer Spaniel, took the shortcut across the driveway and met me on the other side, heading down to the brush pile.



``You’ve got enough biofuel there to run the Chrysler Building,’’ he said.



``It’s a big pile,’’ I said.



``Too bad you can’t burn it.’’



``I can, when there’s snow on the ground,’’ I said as the trailer clanked over a rut and came close to tipping over.



``You ought to roll this field.’’ He shook his head, straw hat swaying in the sun. ``Wouldn’t take more than an afternoon with your tractor.’’

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