The White Cottage


14′ 5,000 LB Rat

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Another hit on Nat’s “To Do” list has been eradicated – at last! We both knew that the umbrella tree had to be chopped down in order to make room for the new front walkway and small patio area. We also knew that that old poplar tree stump had to go. We should have had it chewed into sawdust when we had the tree cut down, but money was an issue and we only did what we could afford at the time. Tree cutting is big business!!!

We found a few names for quotes and, for some odd reason, a couple didn’t call us back. That’s fine – if they don’t want our business, then they won’t get it. We did, however, get a great response from Paul’s Stump & Tree Removal, along with a great price and he was hired on the spot. He showed up yesterday (Tuesday) with his gear and within seconds the umbrella tree was hewed to the ground. It was down before I even had a chance to get to the window to watch! He dragged that sucker to the curb and we joked that maybe someone would pick it up, as they’ve done with a few other things we’ve ‘left sitting around’. Dave (the son of Paul, who now runs the business) then grabbed his wood chipper/chopper machine and within a few more seconds the tree roots were history. It was now onto that big sucker out back – the poplar tree stump. Dave shook his head and confirmed our thoughts, this was one big stump!

We left Dave to his devices and went inside to fix our lunch. Within a half hour, or so, we heard nothing but silence. The chipper machine had stopped. As we were sitting on the back deck eating our lunch we heard Dave holler if Nat had a large allan wrench. Apparently Dave had hit a rock and his blade came loose. With Nat only having smaller allan wrenches, Dave said he was going up to Turkstra Lumber to see what they had, and with that he grabbed the umbrella tree, dumped it in his trailer and headed up to town. As he drove away I saw a receipt go flying past on the front lawn. I could only assume it came from Dave’s truck so I went and retrieved it. Making sure it did belong to Dave, I took a look – a Canadian Tire receipt with today’s date and the purchased item was a 14′ 5,000lb rat  $34.99!!! I couldn’t help but give a snicker – if you read the receipt literally it was funny. Who in hell would want a 14 foot, 5,000 pound Rat, and where on earth would you put it!!! Having hung around my brother (as kids) and being married to Nat, who has a well-equipped tool box, I knew exactly what it was – a new set of ratchet straps (14′ – 5,000 lb capacity) for his trailer. His previous set had been stolen and he had just purchased a new set with receipt still in the bag. I quietly placed the receipt back with  his ratchet set he had left in the driveway until he returned.

Once he had his chipper up and running again, it took him another hour or so to finish that big ‘ole stump and its’ one protruding huge root. The lawn was now full of sawdust or mulch, which Nat would place around the back garden when he returned from his Wednesday golf game. We thanked Dave for his service, handed him his cash, and he was off to grab some lunch at a friend’s house. He was pretty good and we’d certainly keep him in mind should we need any “dump runs” of trimmed trees, bushes or whatever else we can find (it’s a side business, along with the stump removal).

With the umbrella tree now gone, we both had clear vision through the living room window, along with a bit more light. Now we really, really can’t wait until the front walkway is done. Our little cottage/home is beginning to look like it’s getting a second life.


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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