At some point in the past year, a tree in the front yard was struck by lightening. Slowly, it started to die, from the top down. The wood burring bees found a safe home nestled under the bark. The saw dust started to fall. The branches became splinters, waiting for a bad wind to come down.
The tree had to go.
Big Dog got the call. After an estimate that I practically choked on, we set a date. I have known Big Dog for years- Big Dog being the owner. He is a neat guy, with all kinds of unique hobbies- dirt track racing being at the very top of the list. I just had no idea how pricy tree removal is- of course, I had no idea what goes on when it comes to tree removal.
How in the world could it be that expensive to chop down a tree? Give me five college guys, a case of beer, and a few axes and we could knock this thing out in an afternoon. My way, while cheap, would have been very ineffective and not exactly "turn key." Big Dog's way- much easier, much safer, much more effective, and absolutely turn key. Big Dog's way- we got to sit and watch. My way-- bad idea.
I have mentioned in the past that I once sold health insurance-- quick side story:
I sold someone an accident policy. One fall, the client's wife was nagging him to cut down a branch that had been hanging over the side of the house. Like all good husbands, he listened intently and did exactly as she said. Well, not exactly. First, he went to a poker game the night before and woke up with a stellar headache. As punishment, the wife insisted that he chop that branch down this morning. THIS instant. So, finally being the dutiful husband that he was-- he set to chopping with his saw. He climbed the tree, shimmied out onto the branch and got to sawing. His exact words were, "It was like Wile E. Coyote- the second I realized I was cutting the branch that I was standing on was when it cracked. The roof broke my fall, but the holly bushes were a real beast to get out of when the paramedics came."
He bought his wife diamond earrings for Christmas.
This would have been us had we attempted it ourselves.
LMC's buddy, Cas, came over to play after school and they sat outside in the cold watching the tree climber climb and cut while the guys on the ground moved and tossed. The girls sat in my lap giving me commentary about the tree climber. According to them, he was climbing a tree "that was 10 feet tall. It's soooo tall."
Cas said, "It's tall like my daddy. And he's OLD. Like 44."
It really was a tall tree. I should not have balked. Once I saw them set to work, I understood why it was so expensive.
It's expensive because they do it right. Six guys showed up and quickly set to work. Six guys- three trucks, two Bobcats, a roll-off dumpster, almost three hours of work and the only left of the tree was our memory of the decay.
It was fascinating to watch the tree climber shimmy up the tree with a chainsaw attached to his waist. While not the way I think of how I want to spend the funds, it sure was smarter than my idea.
Home ownership-- it's just... well, it ain't cheap. I can say that much. But, it is interesting. The master bathroom will have to be pushed out a little bit longer as we rebuild our savings.
The tree is gone. The house is safe. The bees have found a new home. Big Dog has been paid. Maybe he'll be buying his wife diamond earrings for Christmas this year?