Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I am usually lazy about physical activity, scared of heights, and hate to sweat. So, that pretty much rules out washing high window, climbing ladders or trees, lifting heavy objects, or doing jumping jacks. (With me so far?)

Okay, so the other day I was staring from the road at our humongous, old magnolia tree that is only good for one thing - producing pretty blossoms in May that last all of 2 days then fall like a bunch of mushy banana peels that need to be raked or mowed up pronto before they wreck the grass. This time of year the leaves multiply like ants at a picnic, weighing down the branches till they nearly touch the ground. One of said branches had fallen lazily over the porch and succeeded in blocking ALL sunlight from my hanging baskets and pots. So, I very sweetly said to Cecil, "That branch needs to be cut off. My porch plants aren't getting any sun and they're dying. Could you do that?"

He studied it for all of 15 seconds and said, "Yeah, I see what you mean. Hmm, well, we'll see, maybe next weekend." Which really means, "Maybe next year" 0R... "Maybe never." Aaargh! "Besides," he said, "When I do cut it down I'll have to chop it in a ton of pieces so we can have it hauled away. That's a huge branch." More silent groans. I followed him into the house.

Well, Cecil went on a brief business trip Monday and Tuesday (he's home now), and so yesterday, without so much as a second's thought, I jumped up from the sofa, went in search of our heavy 12' metal ladder, set it up under that magnolia tree, and then went to the garage for a suitable saw, having NO IDEA what I was looking for. I thought saws looked like those triangle thingies with the sharp metal blade and the wooden grip like my dad used to have. I couldn't find one of those, but I did find two other metal saws with handles, shorter, but saws anyway. So off I went, armed with these two bladed weapons.

I forgot about my fear of heights, but I did hang on as I started climbing up those steps, one, two, three, four, and five. I think I stopped on the fifth rung, or maybe the sixth. With saw in hand I started in on that 8" thick branch. It was actually the circumference of a small tree! And I sawed--and I sawed--and I sawed. Then I switched saws because I thought the other blade would be sharper. Didn't make any difference. And I sawed some more--and my arm started burning from lack of muscle! But since I'd sawed through half the branch I couldn't stop.

Well, I figured the branch would fall AFTER I cut all the way through it. Ha! About 3/4 of the way through I should have hollered "TIMBER!!!" to my dog, but, hmm, that little word didn't come to mind as the huge thing started cracking, splitting, groaning, and tearing away from the cut line. That's when I closed my eyes and prayed, "Oh, dear God, save us!!!" And the branch fell across the ladder AND ME! When I figured out I was still alive I scampered down. Peyton, my dog, was huddled up in a ball against the house. I have ruined his tender psyche for life!

Now, all I had to do was figure out how to get the 100 lb. branch off the ladder and move it to the side of the house. Would you believe SHEER DETERMINATION, GRIT, and PRIDE were my strong forces? I moved the ladder first, after which the branch thudded to the ground. Then I stood there and stared at the 20'+ long piece of tree for a couple of minutes while catching my breath. I'M SWEATING BULLETS, TOO, WHICH I TOLD YOU I HATE TO DO!

Well, I bent down and started tugging for all I was worth. Tug, breathe, stop, tug, breathe, stop, tug...you get the idea. I went a few inches at a time, but I managed to haul that thing about 60-70 feet to the other side of the house, where it still sits. I had NO STRENGTH left within me to saw the thing up into shorter branches, and I have yet to tell Cecil that it is on the other side of the house. He came home from his business trip tonight and said, "Hi honey!", kissed me, then went to his chair and fell asleep. Now, he's in bed. Well, there's always tomorrow. I'll keep you posted as to his reaction, which I think will be, um, slight irritation.

But, hey, beautiful sunlight now drenches my porch plants. Now, if I can just remember to water them!

1 comment:

Ann--Praising the Lord said...

You are my role model Sharlene. I told my husband that I am going to apply your philosophy of life to my own life. The husband says I will have to cut the tree limbs up for myself if I go and start cutting on our magnolias!
I am trying to get the hubby to model himself after Cecil! So, I can't wait to hear Cecil's reaction.
Thanks again for the big laugh.