The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

You’re Goin’ Down Baby!

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The day finally arrived. Our tree trimmer showed up at 9:00 am today and with safety belt, hooks, lines, pulleys, ladders, shoe spikes, safety helmets, goggles, gloves, chipper and bags full of chain saws, began his ascent of “Mount Poplar”. His ascent was successful within the first hour which to my way of thinking was pretty fast. You should see the stuff this guy comes with in his “hydro-like” 9 ton truck with bucket!!! Any little boy’s dream. Remember those days when you climbed that tree in half-laced runners, bare hands and shorts? You felt like you had accomplished a major feat and that you were on top of the world? If you long for those good old days, then go and watch a professional tree trimmer. You’ll be in awe!!!

Yes, I know it’s a “guy” thing, but being a bit of a tom boy growing up, I couldn’t help but keep one eye looking out the window to see what was going on. I was duly impressed and couldn’t believe the angle cuts, the methodology and the finesse with which this man and his helper worked. It reminded me of that little lumberjack floating down the river keeping the logs from jamming. He knew every which way to move, when to come down and take a step back and then re-ascend to make his next cut. His assistant or trainee knew what to expect on ground level, which way to move those 8 to 10 foot limbs as they were being lowered to his level and to keep them from touching hydro lines and/or our little home. This was another good example of why every child should learn or have a good knowledge of mathematics before entering the work force!!! If this guy didn’t get his “angles” right, we were screwed!!! I was sorry I had to leave in the afternoon for a doctor’s appointment. I wanted to sit on the back porch, bundled up in hat, coat, booties and gloves and watch these two men in wonderment and awe!!

Alas, I had to leave at 1:00 pm to get the doctor’s appointment over with – my quarterly check-up, which only took 5 minutes of Doc’s time and I was on my way. As Nat came along to keep me company, both of us were wondering what was going on at home and how far down the Poplar had they come. They stated before we left that they would definitely be there until late this afternoon and would have to probably take another day to day and a half to finish the job. They were true to their word – that’s why they’re professionals, eh??

By the time we arrived home every limb of that Poplar had been removed except for a couple large branches closer to the top. The worst was over – cutting down the limbs and branches hanging over and under the hydro wires. That’s why he couldn’t use his bucket – the Poplar was too close to hydro lines and that big bejeesus 9 ton truck would leave a rut deep enough in our back yard that would look like another drainage ditch. So by 4:00 pm they were clearing away the buckets of small twigs, branches and debris strewn all over the lawn but left a pretty good mulch of sawdust. They’d return in an hour or so for all those logs that were piled at the end of the drive – the truck was full of debris and the logs wouldn’t fit. They’d then return Thursday (after the snow storm that’s predicted) to finish the job.

For some unknown reason, I get the biggest kick out of watching a true professional at work. Whether it’s a good contractor (I love watching Holmes on Homes) or a tree trimmer, there’s something about seeing good work being done well. It’s an art form, it takes good training, it takes a love of your job and it takes skill to do something right and do it right the first time. (God, I’m quoting Mike Holmes himself!!!!! I’ve got to start watching something else at noon)

Hopefully I’ll be home on Thursday and will be able to perch myself in the dining room window to watch the rest of that big old Poplar tree go down. Despite the danger the Poplar presented, I still felt a little sad to see it go. Even one of our neighbours (whom we’ve not met yet) came across the road to mention to the tree trimmers that now and again he would watch as that big old tree would swing and sway in the wind. He knew it was going to be a danger one day and thankfully he wasn’t a “tree hugger” complaining that another one was about to bite the dust!!! God knows, we’ve got enough trees surrounding this property and have already had a direct hit from one a year ago.

When this excitement is all over, we’ll be able to nestle in our beds, ready for a long winters’ night (after Christmas, of course) and sleep peacefully knowing that we won’t be two bugs underneath a huge Poplar tree that decided to go for a “dive” one night!!!! God Bless Us, everyone!!!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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