Friday, February 18, 2011

Very Proud of Myself

I am extremely proud of myself.

I am still scrambling to get enough trees down to let light into the garden area (which I have YET to build the raised beds for….yikes!), and I am almost there. OK. On Wednesday I was almost there. I have been cutting down one or two trees in the morning with the chainsaw, and then spending the rest of the day using hand tools to cut up the branches off of them and burn them as I go. I hate the massive brush piles everywhere from when we were in a rush to get places cleared for the driveway, the camper, the shed, and the well – we just didn’t have the time to deal with it at the time.

So on Wednesday I was cutting down the last tree I was going to do that day, and I was on the last cut. The saw was an inch from where it needed to be for the tree to come down. And sure enough the damn thing leaned AWAY from the notch, and pinched the saw.  I cut it off and hopped out of the way so I could take a look at the thing and see how stable it was.

It wasn’t going anywhere.

Since I no longer have the assistance of my forestry-savvy father, OR The Beast, I took a seat on a stump and sat there for a while.

I decided to throw a line up into it as high as I could and see if I could yank it off the saw (if not down). Except the only line I had was 75’, and I got it so high up in the tree, by the time it looped around, I wasn’t NEARLY far enough away to want to pull this 16” diameter tree towards me.

Thank you Grandpa, for giving me that tape measure oh so many years ago. I would not have gotten the line so far up in the tree without it on the end.

I drove to Lowe’s (seriously. My family should own stock in them at this point, we spend SO MUCH money there), hoping for inspiration. I called my parents, mostly because complaining to Zora just doesn’t quite cut it. I also got a hamburger for sustenance. Sometimes a giant burger is just the thing one needs. (The rest of the time it’s usually BBQ)

I got 2 lines at 100’ each. I attached on to the line already up in the tree, got almost all the way on the end of it, and heaved. Yeah. It swung about 6 inches at the very tippy-top of the tree. I scratched my head, and remembered I had bought 2 lines. So. I heaved on the first one as hard as I could, wrapped it around another tree and tied it off.

I went back and threw the other 100’ line up in the tree right where the first line was (thanks again Grandpa!), and looped it around the same limb. I was kind of afraid that if I kept pulling on the ropes where they were looped the limb might break off, but I figured then I’d have less tree weight to try to maneuver, so I thought I’d go with it anyway. I got the second line at a 90 degree angle to the first, and heaved. This time the tree didn’t even put up a fight and came right down, neatly dissecting the right angle in the middle.

I managed to squish my wheelbarrow (it was clear of the first two potential paths, just not the final one…oops), but my saw is fine, I am fine, the dog is fine, and that SOB is down.

But I’m not only proud of myself for getting the tree down (for which I am mighty proud of myself) – I am proud of myself for not doubting that I could, and for not getting super frustrated at any time during the whole process. In fact, the thought that I couldn’t bring it down never crossed my mind. The only thing that bugged me was that I lost a day to getting it down and to rebuilding the wheelbarrow (it’s almost as good as new. Almost). Then I remembered that it could have gone much much worse, and once again all was well.

And 70 degree weather with a gentle breeze and a beer at the end of the day in front of a fire that consisted of mostly branches from said tree was priceless.


Post-tree, pre-rebuild. It's (almost) as good as new now. I highly recommend this wheelbarrow. Tough as hell!


whatlittlethings said...

Absolutely amazing! It's so true that what's especially admirable is that you never doubted yourself. *Applause!*

caitlinvb said...

Thank you ma'am! Means a lot since I know that's a quality you possess!