Last week, I spent two days, cutting down branches, from the tree that had recently damaged my roof.
Of course, each day that I worked on it, I didn’t get around to starting my work until mid-day, when I had to spend most of my time under — and often, looking directly up at — the hottest, brightest, most direct sunlight of the day.
Thanks to the fact that I previously had a stroke, it took me up to 2 minutes, each time I slowly, meticulously, climbed up my ladder, moving with the speed of a sloth.
And another 2 minutes, each time I climbed down.
I must have made that trip, up and down, at least a dozen times, each of the two days.
Using a hand saw, I was only able to saw back and forth about five or six times, before my arm quickly tired. Then, I had to let my arm hang down at my side, saw in hand, for a minute or two, before I could do another five or six sawing motions.
In two days of work, I was only able to successfully drop about a dozen branches, the diameter of my arm, so that they would no longer threaten my excellent next-door neighbor’s house or other property, my own property, or the old wooden fence that separates our back yards — whether the branches were their existing locations, or on their way to the ground, after I cut them down.
Then, I slowly dragged each branch across my back yard, side yard, and front yard, to stack it on a pile on my front parkway.
But then, my excellent next-door neighbor, Mike, noticed that I had done some work.
He insisted on helping me finish the job safely.
So, early this morning, I took two full aspirins, then drove Home Depot and rented a chain saw on an extension pole.
Then, starting about 7:00 A.M., for three hours, Mike carefully trimmed branches, then dropped the tree that had threatened our houses and property.
I stayed busy, dragging most of those branches out to my front parkway, sometimes one step at a time.
Mike also trimmed and then dropped several humongous bushes that were near that back corner of my house, so that they couldn’t continue to grow large enough to threaten my house.
Here is what we accomplished in our three hours of work today: completely removing all of the branches, trees, and bushes, from near the back corner of my house, that had threatened the roofs and sides of our houses. We completely covering my front parkway with hundreds of pounds of branches, with the thickest branches being up to nearly twelve inches across, and the whole pile of branches being several feet tall and several feet deep:
After we finished, I noticed that Mike had several bloody wounds, on both his hands and his arms, with the back of one arm streaked with bright red rivulets of fresh blood. When I called them to his attention, he downplayed them, acting like it was no big deal — that he always gets wounds like those when he works on stuff.
Before he went back next door, I thanked him profusely, and offered to buy him lunch; his favorite pizza or a steak dinner, or give him a free trip to a hospital emergency room, or whatever else he wanted.
And I said, “You know, Mike — you could’ve saved yourself ALL of this work, if you had just not said anything, a couple of weeks ago, when you first noticed that tree branches were rubbing up against the roof of my house.”
His twinkling eyes and tiny smile answered, before he could even get out the words to admit that, yeah, he had thought of that, too — but then he quickly insisted that he had been real happy to have told me about it, and to have helped me today.
As always, what a excellent guy!
In the past few hours since then, I’ve cut a few additional, relatively thin branches off of my remaining bushes, watched a little bit of TV, and driven to two friends’ house, to take care of their dogs for them.
My short-term goals are to catch my breath, take some more aspirin, drink lots of water, and get some much-needed rest — but also, to keep moving enough that my muscles won’t stiffen up and keep me from being able to do much of anything for the next few days.
Also, to return the rented pole chain saw to Home Depot.
Update, May 11, 2019: This afternoon, I stopped at Outback Steak house, and got a huge barbecue ribs dinner for Mike and his wife, including a whole rack of ribs and some side dishes.
A few minutes later, I dropped it off at their house, next door.
When I handed the large bag to him, Mike reluctantly accepted it, but he told me, “We talked about this! You didn’t have to do this!”
I explained that, although there’s no way that I could pay him back for his tremendous work and friendship, I wanted to at least try to acknowledge them.
A little while later, Mike’s wife called to say that they had both really enjoyed their delicious ribs dinner. She was very happy that, although her husband had done all of the work, helping me, she got to benefit from it, with him, by getting such a great dinner.
I’m really glad.
Update, May 13, 2019: My house’s front parkway is empty again.
A few minutes ago, the city’s humongous “claw machine” truck finished about ten minutes of work, scooping up huge piles of branches, dumping them into its huge, dumpster-like “box,” and tamping them down, to take up less space.
“The claw” arrived at my house, with an empty box. It left my house, with its box completely full of my parkway’s branches.
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