Men In Trees

Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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It had been a restless night; up every two hours to do what a lot of old guys have to do..especially if they consume a beverage or two before bedtime. My last call of nature was at 6:30a.m. so I just decided to stay up..make some coffee and read the paper. An hour later I’m on the couch watching Olympic women’s beach volleyball. (Only because I find the “game” so fascinating.) After the two USA girls bounced their way to victory, I dozed off. The next thing I knew I was in the Ardennes forest under attack by German artillery. As I lay there in my fox hole, I could hear the noise of the buzz bombs coming in and feel the earth shake with each explosion.
“Doug…Doug..did you see that?”  I could hear Linda’s voice..but how did she wind up here at the Battle of the Bulge?
“How can you sleep through this?” she said. I slowly opened my eyes and looked out the window to see a huge tree branch that had come crashing down with a ground-jarring thud onto our front yard. Then came another..and another.
Oh, yeah. I suddenly remembered this is the day Andy and his crew are cutting down the neighbor’s old cottonwood.
I hate to see big stately trees like that one unceremoniously chopped to pieces but, to be honest, that cottonwood was on its last roots anyway. It had become a mess; shedding thousands of twigs and branches onto the roof of our house and all over the lawn. The neighbors finally called in a tree doctor who diagnosed some kind of disease.. so a decision was made to pull the plug.
While they were at it, Linda and I hired the crew to give our huge maple a good trim so the sun could have a chance to shine on the rather sickly-looking grass underneath.
I’ve never been a big fan of circus high-wire acts and Linda is even worse. She got so nervous at the sight of men with chainsaws swinging around in the treetop that she got in the car and went shopping.
So, I thought to myself, this is what an earthquake feels like; as one branch after another slammed to the sod causing my mother’s antique china plates to rattle in the hutch. 
I’m sure glad I marked all the sprinkler heads with those little flags, as requested, so they wouldn’t get squished.  Yeah, right.
By the time I got home from golf, the fight was over. Everything was pretty much cleaned up. All that remains is for a few remaining severed limbs to be removed from the battlefield.I haven’t tested the sprinklers yet to see if they survived the bombing.
I’m also not sure why there is still a sizable stump from the cottonwood still standing there as if defiantly willing to fend off one more attack from the chainsaw army. 
Maybe the neighbors plan to have a totem pole carved out of it.
We need to talk.

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