November 26, 2012

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck?

Our neighbor and friend Marcia had a big problem she needed to get out of her life. She had deadwood, so to speak.

This large tree is in her yard, leafless and useless. With every threat of wind or lightning, she worried that the tree would fall on her trailer. There are two trees in the picture - the tree with leaves is still living.

Marcia herself had a fall three months ago and did a stint in a rehab facility for physical therapy. She had a cast on her wrist and a bigass brace on her leg. 

During the last storm, she called me from the rehab facility and asked about the tree. It's been a constant worry - will it fall and hit the trailer? Or take the neighbor's wires down?

Our neighbor Jimmy agreed to cut the tree down for her. And it's a good thing Marcia wasn't there to see the fun...she'd have peed her pants from fright.

This tree is huge. I was worried about someone getting hurt, and was concerned that the tree would fall on the trailer, or on the neighbors' fences.

A tree surgeon should probably have been summoned - do you know how much they charge for taking down a tree that big? Beaucoup bucks.

The gargantuan task took place on a Saturday in October. On a day that was sunny yet chilly, Jimmy and his friend Vern did their best Paul Bunyan impression - though they used chain saws (and there was no sighting of Babe, the Blue Ox).

Drat...that would have been something to see.

There's Vern, in the fork of the tree. See him up there? Looking pretty comfortable, if I do say so myself. I didn't see him climb it, I just know that the extension ladder was not as tall as his current location. Note that on the way up, he started trimming some of the larger branches.

Did he (like me) wonder just how he was going to get down? I missed that part of the adventure. To be honest, I didn't want to watch the scary parts.

After all the major limbs had been removed (I'm sure voodoo or other magic was involved to accomplish it), even The Mister got involved in the final stage of the felling.

"Felling, nothing more than felling"...yes, that song did go through my head.

Displaying great strength and that "let's pull this sucker down" stick-to-itiveness, a rope was used to pull one of the larger pieces of trunk while it was carefully being cut with a chainsaw.

Even from inside I heard the thud of that piece of trunk hitting the ground. Timberrrrrrr!

Jimmy's truck was used to help pull the largest piece down, away from power lines and the neighbors' fences. The Mister drove the truck and that tree fell, exactly where it was intended to fall. 

In the day's activities, I neglected to photograph the branch that  hit the neighbor's fence, and the branch that took out part of Marcia's deck.

The deck railing was the only victim of the day's events, thank God

Still, all in all, the trailer remained unscathed (though it does still have a limb or two on the roof, as remembrance).

Now Marcia has a lovely stump as a reminder of the tree that drove her to distraction...and several families have lots of firewood to keep them warm this winter.

A few days later, the good people at Hammers of Hope came to build Marcia a brand new deck. Hammers of Hope is a charity that does vital home repairs for low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities.

The deck went from this:

To this:

Marcia's been home for a couple of weeks now, and is on the mend. Soon she'll be up and active again, and will have lots of happy years enjoying her new deck (and she'll never again have to fret about lightning hitting that big dead tree).


  1. What a great sense of community you have there! I would feel all warm inside seei g everyone work on this project.

  2. Thank you for everything. That is very nice. I was trying to think about how u all did it. Wonderful friends and neighbor's. Love u all and so lucky to have such good friend's....

  3. That is so awesome how everyone helped. And it looks like the stump is a good drink holder.

    OMG, that deck, awesome. I bet she is so excited.


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