Today's big project was to cut down a tree in our yard that had broken during a storm and was now a bit lopsided. We have a deadline because Warren's Mom is having multiple trees taken down professionally - thank goodness! - in the next month or so and we want to have the stump of this tree ground up at the same time.
It sounded like a simple idea. Cut down a tree. Not so hard...unless...the tree is heaviest on the side that is closest to the house and even the best placed "notch" apparently wasn't enough to keep it from trying to fall on the house.
O.K. picture this. Our 6'4", 250 pound oldest son, Jonathan, had literally tied rope around himself and was holding the tree upright...because it was leaning toward our dining room window.
Now, here is where my strange brain goes into effect. Hmmm...I wonder if that went into the house right there if there is any way that we could then just go ahead and expand out into the yard...you know...an addition!!! "NO! You must not think that way", I tell myself... but then find myself surveying the ground for an outline of how far out I would like this extension to go. I know, this was really bad so I began to pray that God would spare us from our stupidity and allow us to somehow get that tree pulled out and that it would fall in the front yard as planned.
Warren pulled the van into the yard and attempted to tie the rope, the same rope that had so recently been around Jonathan, to the van. Oops! Nowhere to put it. The wind kept gusting and I was really getting nervous now. So...the next attempt was to get Warren's mother's pickup truck from next door.
Here is the problem that I am seeing with that. Warren's Mom (Georgia) is in the hospital at this point. I am wondering how we will explain to her that while she was on her sick bed we borrowed her truck and smashed it with a tree. See the dilemma?
Well, there was no time to call and ask. That tree could fall at any time so over to her house Warren ran. He grabbed her keys and brought the truck over into the yard, where he proceeded to tie the rope...same rope...to the truck bumper all the while giving me, (yes, I am going to be driving the truck as Warren continues cutting with the chain saw), instructions about how to pull gently so that the rope wouldn't break. I got a quick tutorial on rear wheel drive!
Into the truck I go...made more interesting by the fact that I had our Chihuahua, Chloe, on my lap...she thinks we are going to pick up Mikey at work and is thrilled...tail wagging, thrilled...and I would have to pull into the road at just the right moment to get this chore accomplished. I am wondering if Warren is paying attention to any oncoming traffic as he is cutting and about to tell me to pull into the road. So my eyes are darting from rear view mirror, (Warren and tree), to road on left to road on right, (We are on a corner), pushing Chloe down on my lap so I feel somewhat in control and starting the whole watching process all over again. Warren gives me the yell to take off...So I did!
Broke the Rope!
Oh, this was bad. Now I have yanked on the tree making it even more unstable and it is attached to NOTHING to attempt to stabilize it.
Warren decided that this was calling for a chain. So off he goes to find a chain. Then he needed little doo-dads to go with the chain. Not in the same place as the chain. Here I stand staring at the tree.
Trying to be positive I notice that not only will this tree take out the dining room window and wall but given the expected trajectory should demolish our riding mower as well. I hate that mower. It stinks, doesn't steer well and is a dinosaur. Hubby thinks we cannot do better...they don't make them like this any more. lol So, the tree falling is beginning to look...not so bad.
I snap out of it again as I realize that if that tree falls, I will have to call the insurance agent and I can imagine the conversation going something like this:
Me: Hi Frann! It's Becky. How are you?
Frann: Oh, Hi Becky, what can I do for you?
Me: Well, we have this tree that fell into the side of our house and...
Frann: That was a wicked storm last night, we've had a lot of calls...
Me: Actually it wasn't the storm. This is how it happened....
So, then I was thinking that I really didn't want to make that kind of a call and began praying again that God would really protect us from our stupidity.
At this point, Warren is kneeling on the ground under the tree and I think that perhaps that is not the best place for him to be working on his chain. I say so. He calmly replies that if the tree falls now it is going onto the house. Oh, ok, feeling much better now.
Finally, the chain is attached to the truck and I am in the cab. The chihuahua is in the house and having had a dry run at this I am feeling... shaky! It just keeps running through my head that I am pulling a tree down in my direction...on purpose! I am trying not to be too concerned about how we are going to tell Georgia that to spare our house we demolished her truck. Then I remember that I am to trust my husband and if Warren says the truck is safe it must be. With all of this running through my head I pull forward to put some tension on the chain.
There is a very brief pause and then Jonathan yells, "Dad! It is coming down! Move!"
I gun the engine...not wanting to be under it.
The tree came down!
Warren moved not a second too soon and God had spared us from this potentially irresponsible decision to cut down our own tree. The tree landed just where we had intended the whole time.
Inexplicably, all of a sudden I get this feeling of intense power and pride. I point out to Jonathan and Warren what a "she-woman" I am that I have just singlehandedly pulled down a tree with a Ford truck! Yee Haw!
Sure looks easy when the job is done.
I left just then to pick up Mikey at work with many a "red-neck" joke running through my head. Boy did I have a story to tell him.
I wish I had pictures - but - I was just having too much fun!