Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Where Did You Learn This?"

Yesterday was a very, very good day. In case you haven't figured it out, that means that today I am tired and sore and scraped or bruised. Good days involve a little sweat and blood.

My wife asked me to take down some trees for a friend, a pair of 30+ foot tall cherry trees that were diseased and uncomfortably close to a gazebo, play structure, shed and flower beds. Over forty years old and a cool day involves climbing trees, complicated rope work and a chainsaw!

The ropes were to control the fall of each big branch and piece of trunk. Imagine standing with one foot balanced on a 3 inch wide piece of trunk, the other foot on a stub of a branch as you ply a chain saw at neck level on a section of tree, ropes set carefully so when it starts to go it will fall away from you (and hopefully not snap-back) all 20 feet in the air! Yes!

Ris, our friend asked, "Where did you learn this?"

I froze for a second and said that my dad used to make me do it, since I was the climber. But that's not quite right- my dad though I was too small and clumsy to use a chain saw (with some justification- at the start of my senior year I weighed less than a hundred pounds).

I watched him and heard his stories. Like most men in Eastern Oregon, he was an expert with a chainsaw. I've climbed since I could walk, earlier if you believe my parents. The rope work comes from caving, partially...

In the end, a few decades and lots of mileage leaves some skills and partial skills and concepts. If you aren't afraid to try. Just remember to think it through.

No comments: