So, let me cut to the chase:  I cut down a tree Saturday and almost exhausted myself in the process.

This vagrant tree had taken up residence between my back fence and the neighbor’s storage shed.  I can’t imagine how such plants ever take root and grow down inside such a dark slit; especially when I fail at getting trees to grow even after giving them loving care out in the sun.  But this one crept up on me, growing down there for a season or two before bursting up and gaining an impressive altitude in only one season.  Not only that but an agressive choking vine took root also.  By the time I got around to dealing with it it was about one foot in diameter and noticeably making my fence bulge.

I had a chat with the neighbor to make sure that she didn’t want it to remain and then got after it.  I cut down lots of vines and branches earlier in the season but I had gotten all the easy ones and given up for awhile.  But on Saturday since we were trapped inside the house while Mel attempted to sell our old refrigerator, I approached it with my chainsaw.

That chainsaw is a hand-me-down from Dad and is so poorly made as to be almost unusable – I have to repair it every time I use it but such is my nature that I keep on repairing and complaining rather than buying a new one.

The geometry was awkward – a tree right in the corner and in somebody elses yard on the other side of a fence and yet I wanted it to fall in my yard – right where I’d be standing.  This is probably very unwise but I did it anyway.  I began to cut a wedge out of the trunk on my side; cutting a bit and then standing away from it to listen for cracking sounds or anything unusual.  I did this several times, nibbling away a bit more each time.  Finally, I made a slight cut on the back side.  As I stood at the other side of the yard wondering when it was going to let go, I heard it cracking and it started to fall.

It fell into my oak tree and stopped at about 45 degrees – half fallen.  Arggh!

I pulled and pushed and finally got it to slump down the rest of the way where I could get at it and start cutting it up.  My only company was the dog who enjoys watching this sort of thing.  It seems to put her in mind of work herself since she usually begins to do a bit of digging whenever I’m outside.  She doesn’t dig any other time; only when I’m gardening.  I did this lumberjacking for quite some time until I began to feel really bad.

I have an unfortunate tendency to get focused on projects to the extent that I lose track of time and everything else.  It is rare for me to start an outside project with a source of drinking water nearby.  But it is not rare for me to display the symptoms of dehydration and overheating.  You’d think I’d learn and by and large I have but on Saturday, I did it again.  I kept working in the hot sun until I began to feel really lousy.  So I crept back into the house for water and a long rest.

That’s where it sits now.  A tree partially bucked into firewood-sized chunks sitting in my back yard waiting for me to recover long enough to deal with the rest.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that the job is only half done when the tree is down.  Cutting it up and disposing of it is always a huge chore since we can’t put it out on the curb for the garbageman nor can I burn it.  I must cut it up and giftwrap it or load it into my truck and haul it many miles to the dump and pay for the priveledge.  Or hire somebody to come get it.