The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Tears On My Lawn…

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The final day. The Tree Trimmer came by to finish the job today. We headed out to Niagara Falls early to get groceries in anticipation of the snow storm tonight, and when we returned our trimmer had ascended “Mount Poplar” for the final run. He had already finished off the final huge limb that remained and then continued his descent down about 5 to 6 feet at a time. Each section of the trunk was being sent to the base via ropes and pulleys and the final descent was made when he reached ground level.

Nat dropped me off at the door and while I was unpacking the groceries, he wandered out to do his “guy” thing and see how the boys were doing. I swear Nat would have liked to taken chain saw in hand and join in on the fun! You could see it in his eyes, he was in awe of these two young guns that could “scale tall buildings” (or trees in this case) “with a single bound”.

Huge logs, long pieces of trunk, small logs, twigs and sawdust were strewn all about the lawn as they fired up the chipper and finished off what small pieces they could. With two different sized chain saws they then began to hack away at the larger trunk that had fallen to the ground with the greatest of thuds. After making his initial cut at the base of the main trunk, the Trimmer began to saw away the secondary cut to make the “V” and the old Poplar made him earn his money. He had already gone through a couple of blades by the time he even reached the base but, with a lot of determination and skill he maintained his angle and after a good half hour, his helper had managed to knock out a good portion of the “V” using the longest crowbar I’d ever seen.

Nat and I stood at the window and watched as the final 15 to 20 feet of the main trunk was pulled to the ground, landing on a row of logs laid out below to cushion the thud. And what a thud!!! You could hear the echo abound through the trees behind and right through the house. The strength, power, weight and somewhat beauty of that old Poplar had finally been beaten. The trunk was cut into 2 to 3 foot sections, then quartered and loaded onto that big honkin’ 9-ton hydro-like truck with bucket!!  How the mighty have fallen!!

The trimmer had organized the back of his truck as best he could in order to get every last piece in, including his ladder, wheelbarrow and bags of saws. But alas, eleven large logs remained at the end of the drive to be picked up later. The Poplar was going to have the last laugh!

Suddenly you realize you had feelings for this huge piece of lumber. This tree that would wreak havoc with your lawn and toss out bits and bobs of twigs, leaves and debris all summer long to keep you busy raking leaves and cleaning eavestroughs on a daily basis. You struggled to keep up as it continued to spew out twigs and leaves all night long, with never a rest for the wicked. You knew it  was going to take a huge tumble one day – even your neighbours have now come forward to tell you stories of how it would swing and sway in those huge gusts of wind that blew off of Lake Erie. It gave you shade on a hot summer’s day, but that was about all. You feared for your life on a cold, stormy, blustery night. You knew something had to be done, and yet there was still that feeling deep down inside. This  use to be a living thing – albeit with a “school bully” attitude.

While inspecting the huge pieces of trunk, the Tree Trimmer was showing Nat the moisture inside. You could see the water dripping down the bark and at one point the Trimmer said he could see it coming out of the limbs of the tree as he was cutting them down. Egad!!!! Did this big old Poplar actually have feelings. Could it be that it was crying tears of sorrow knowing this was the end??? Was it leaving its sad, sad tears behind in the snow-covered lawn?? I guess we’ll never know ’cause the buckets and buckets of sawdust have now disguised whatever lay on or beneath the snow. We’ve got enough sawdust stewn about we now look like a lumber mill – only without the head rig or primary saw (that’s lumber mill talk, for those that don’t know)!!! Anyone want a couple bags????

As a final touch and after handing this brave man our cheque for services rendered, I handed them a bag of home-made chocolate chip cookies. We never noticed that either of these men took a coffee break, a lunch break or (and I mean this nicely), a pee break!! God, it was the least I could do to say thanks for a job very well done!!!! Our Tree Trimmer said they’d be gone before they reached home!! God, I love a compliment – or was it that they were just starved???

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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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