Several lessons that I've learned over the last 15 years have been put to good use over the past week or two. When I was working at ABC on the maintenance crew, I watched Ben Haupt (an outstanding arborist) cut down several trees. He never just walked up to a tree, cut through the trunk, and then watched it fall hoping for the best. Rather, he would climb it and take it down a little at a time with ropes. I think he could have cut a tree down and loaded it into the back of a truck without any of the wood ever touching the ground - he was good.
We are getting ready to build a garage in our back yard. I had a big maple tree that would have been locked in between the house, the shed, the power lines, and the garage if I had left it. I figured it was best to take the tree down before the garage was a part of the puzzle. However, the tree was hanging over the electric and phone lines and leaning towards the house. So, thanks Ben (even though you probably didn't know I was learning from you) for showing me that you don't have to take the whole thing down at once. (Any of you who might know where Ben is can pass on my gratitude to him - I think he and his wife are traveling in evangelism with Tom Palmer.) My insurance company is probably glad I watched him.
The next round of thanks goes to the farmer for whom I worked as a teenager, Hugh Hagerman. He used to tell me that there was very little that you couldn't move if you had the right kind of leverage. So, with about 40 feet of chain, a good come-along, an 8 foot steel fence post driven in the ground, a couple of ropes, my chainsaw, and a long tree saw, we managed to get it all down. I must say, that we had a good breeze from the right direction at the right time also. Every limb and the main part of the tree fell right where it was supposed to fall. The only casualty was the fence post that happened to have the top of the tree land on it when it finally came down - it is now bent over in an "L".
The kids (whom I kept out of the way while cutting) were persistent in dragging limbs to the pile that we made. They also stacked up all the wood that we cut up for firewood. I'm sure this is an experience they will never forget - especially Joel who was my "stacker" on the brush pile as well as pulling with ropes and the come-along. Now you can enjoy some photos and videos.
I'm getting the chain hooked in the tree here.
John is carrying wood and Josiah is going after more.
Josiah loved stacking up the firewood.
Joel kept our brush pile neatly stacked and tight - I think he enjoyed being up on top of the pile most of the day.
Grant is growing up very quickly!
Josiah actually got this limb over to the pile . . . ambition and energy combined . . . good picture Laura.
Here is my motivation for the day. These two energize me - the smile and the stare!
Kara had to stay on the porch today - for safety reasons; she has just had a bath and so her hair is still a little wet.
Almost finished . . .
Laura was our photographer today, so she had to take a self-photo to get into the history book.
I think this is only about a third of the wood there will be when we are finished.
All my helpers - Grant, Laura, John, Josiah, and Joel.
This final video is what they had been wanting to do all day.
Carol had some really good mesquite pork loin ready for us when we were finished. The kids had all worked up a good appetite; the only thing left was a small helping of greens - go figure. :-)
One final "thank you" that I have is to Mr. Dallas. We were given quite a bit of shredded cabbage a couple of weeks ago. Even though we like cole slaw, we couldn't eat it all that way. While working in the kitchen at ABC I helped Mr. Dallas make egg rolls. I remembered how he had done it (trade secrets that can't be revealed - just kidding); sausage, cabbage, garlic, and plenty of ginger wrapped in the egg roll wrappers, sealed with corn starch and deep fried . . . Dipped in sweet & sour sauce they are irresistible. (Someone is welcome to pass this on to Mr. Dallas.)
We made 40 of them . . . and they didn't last long. The picture below is when most of them were already gone and I thought I should take a picture before they too disappeared.
Thanks to all of you who have influenced me some way or another - whether I wrote about you this evening or not.