The tree was dead, it needed to come down. And I mean needed. The way it was set on the hill made it look like it was leaning toward the house anyway, and every wind storm we have made me worry that I was going to drive over to see Handsome and find that the house had been turned into a convertible in my absence.
It needed to come down.
Do I have a chainsaw?
Do I have an axe?
Do I at least have a saw?
Why yes, yes I do.
So I got on a ladder and tied a rope around the tree, about half-way up, so I could hopefully direct its fall away from the house, and I got to work. I started sawing away, but my arms wore out long before I was all the way through the trunk. I decided to let the tree do some of the work itself, and I grabbed onto that rope and I started to heave. The tree started swaying. I kept heaving, pulling for all I was worth, really throwing my weight into it. The tree continued to sway. A lot.
Stop and try to breathe. Take a little break. Just until the little black spots stop flying around before my eyes. They were getting in the way when I was checking out the tree.
Eventually they went away, and I could start pulling again. And that’s the way my afternoon went. Pull a while, rest a while, pull a while, rest a while. Cut a little while. Finally, after a whole lot more work than I had anticipated at the start of this thing (I mean, gravity was on my side, wasn’t it? Gravity for crying out loud!) the tree toppled. To my satisfaction, it toppled right where I’d wanted it, like I knew what I was doing.
Did it sway and finally topple, falling majestically to the ground with a prolonged crrrrruuump sound as more and more of the trunk hit the ground?
No. The small branches of the trees it was falling between, the branches I had foreseen my tree smashing right through on it’s earthward journey, caught the damn tree, holding it at a 60 degree angle, the trunk still seated on its stump. To get it to fall I was going to have to get a rope about the tree somewhere closer to the top and pull it sideways away from the tree it was hooked up on.
I looked down at my arms. Way down. From all the pulling my hands were hanging down somewhere between my knees and ankles, even though I was standing up with my back straight.
I went in the house, leaving the half-fallen tree for another day. I had to kick the door closed behind me because I couldn’t actually lift my arms.
That was Saturday. Yesterday was Sunday, and the tree came down. I cheated a bit and used a chain hoist.
Today is Monday. My arms are just about back to their normal length; my wrists are hanging a bit from the cuffs too much, but at least I don’t look like a sideshow freak any more.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that my God they’re sore!!
Talk to you later!