Over the last several days, Certain Man has been broaching (again) the subject about cutting down the two trees that are at the corners of our deck(s). Many years ago, (like maybe 18) he had planted two Thornless Honey Locust trees. They were quick growing, and he was pretty sure they would be perfect for what he needed them for — quick shade for the front side of the house.
I was hesitant at first. Honey Locusts are a dirty tree, and they usually have those big old thorns. The thorns of a honey locust can actually puncture a tire. I just didn’t think we wanted that. But Certain Man convinced me that these had no thorns (Duh!) and that given the rate they were supposed to grow, he really had a good plan. And so he planted them and they grew, and grew, and grew.
They were wonderful trees for the many birds who visited the feeders, and the squirrels loved them, too, but in the summer, almost before August came around, they started sending down tiny leaves that covered the deck, got into the rain gutters and in general, complicated Certain Man’s life. He planted a beautiful little Maple between them, and looked in dismay as they crowded out the sunlight, and the maple, though healthy, was almost imperceptible in its growth from year to year.
“I think I’m gonna’ cut down those two Honey Locusts” he said to me one day, several years ago. “They are just dirty trees, and that Maple won’t grow as long as they are crowding out the sun.”
“Oh, Sweetheart,” I pleaded. “Please don’t do that! They are so nice for bird feeders and for shade in the summer time. I know they are dirty, but they have grown so big, and I really do like them alot! Those trees weren’t cheap, and you’ve invested so much in them.”
He would ponder and look out at them with dismay. “I know,” he would say patiently, “but look at how they are losing so many branches. Every year it seems like another part of the tree is just dying off. I think it is time for them to come down!” But then he would kinda’ forget about it again until the next year when his rain gutters would fill up with tiny honey locust leaves just before hurricane season. There is nothing like a gutter overflowing like Niagara Falls in the middle of a downpour to make a man decide to clean gutters RIGHT NOW!!! (And nine times out of ten, in the DARK!) And there is nothing like a soaking wet, cold, inconvenienced, tired man to make loud declarations as to what he is going to do with certain trees that he holds responsible for his discomfiture.
Then a very strange thing happened. After we built the sun room last fall, Middle Daughter procured a telescope of large proportions. She wanted the top of the sun room made into an upper deck so she could sit out there and look at the constellations. She and her father discussed long and often about the best way to go about it, and they did, in fact, agree as the how it should be done. And when it was finished, Middle Daughter hauled her telescope of large proportions up there and discovered that the trees not only made a problem for the rain gutters, they also made it impossible to see an unobstructed view of said galaxies. And she began to quietly mouth reflections about her wishes for a better view.
I’ve been thinking and thinking about these things. And about the fact that the “sun room” is really a “shade room” and I’ve been trying to picture the landscape without the beloved trees. So when Certain Man said something again about wanting to “Call Gary and have him come and take those two boogers down!” I said, “I think you might just as well. I wonder if it wouldn’t be better all the way around.”
He looked at me like I had taken leave of my senses. “Do you mean it?!?!?”
And it didn’t take him long to converse with Gary of the mighty chainsaw, and tonight I looked out and there was Gary’s old blue pickup coming across our lawn. He had a big yellow rope and his chainsaw and he was ready for business. When Certain Man got home, they set to work, and in about 15 minutes, what had taken almost 20 years to grow big and tall was lying in piles on the ground.
This is the first one, already on the ground.
Mostly I was staying out of the way.
(Too many stories of trees falling the wrong way!)
Gary has a rope tied to the other tree because it was leaning in the wrong direction.
He pulled his trusty blue pickup as far as he could without breaking the rope.
Then he was READY!
This is the next one to come down.
Certain Man watches to see what Gary has up his sleeve to do next
The tree in the foreground is the little Maple that Certain Man has been overly protective of.
It is a sweet little tree, and much prettier than the Honey Locust.
I am anxious to see how it does with more light and less competition.
Ah, so that was what was next!
Getting closer! Everybody out of the way!
The ground shook, and some of the branches of my precious Quanson Cherry got a little disheveled.
But the tree was DOWN!
This side of the house certainly looks different!
It will take some massive cleaning up efforts!
Middle Daughter is always ready to lend a helping hand to her Daddy.
She was out long into the dark, helping to haul branches.
In this picture, she is trying to figure out Gary’s knot that was really, really tight around that tree.
Certain Man hangs something on the deck rail, out of the way.
The landscape looks incredibly bare and different.
To be truthful, I’m actually happy with how it looks!
I don’t know what Certain Man has in his head for how this will all turn out.
What I do know is that I can trust him.
He has better ideas for design in his little finger than I do in my whole head!
7 responses to “Exciting Times at Shady Acres”
I see next year’s brush pile and hay ride forming! yeah? anyway, I am looking forward to see how it looks! And what he has up his sleeve for that area.
I enjoyed your account of the tree-cutting.
My brother in law was raised in a logging family, so when we need a precarious tree job done, Mike is our man! I loved reading about y’alls tree cutting, but more especially how your trust of your husband shone through the story – from “letting” him plant the trees to “letting” him cut them down! Thank you for your example!
That was quite an account of the tree cutting! I think your Certain Man will do something quite pleasing to fill the emptiness left behind.
Interesting account. You folks must be like we are about trees, they are not simply “trees” are they? 40 years ago we began planting trees in our 2 acre yard and now several are old enough to show signs of age and we have leaves and seed pods in our gutters and yes life would be easier without some of them. Losing our willow tree was our biggest loss but we soon got used to and really liked the open space.
I love your real life stories!
I enjoyed your tree-cutting story. Even though I don’t usually comment, I really enjoy your blogs. Not only are they interesting, but the Christ-like spirit that shines through is so uplifting! Thank you for your faithfulness to Him and for using your storytelling gift to inspire others!