The fall:  (2010)  by Mary

Todd and Erin picked up our grandson, Josh, from the airport and joined us for a few days. We were so excited that Josh got to come again this summer, and now the cousins could spend time together. Some of the other grandchildren were envious, but maybe they would get a turn in the future.

Larry & I wanted to do a big cleanup job while we had three extra people to help, and settled on 'the tree'. If we took it down, it would change the landscape of the farm. Oh, my! How did that happen? We had become somewhat attached to what we previously considered an eyesore! Perhaps it was because it was always looming over us, showing its usefulness even while dead, and making us wonder about its history and age. Attachment or not, it was coming down.

First, we cleaned up the debris around the base of the tree, a project bigger than we thought. (Aren't they all?) Then Josh, Erin, and I watched from the house steps while Larry and Todd began the process of cutting it down. Believe me, that tree fought to the end. Once, it was leaning so far over, from our view, it seemed as though we could give it a little push with a finger and it would topple.

The fall was great as it hit the ground hard, shattered to pieces, and collapsed upon itself. Thankfully, It missed the loft and landed where the men planned. We first felt some awe inspired quietness, then hooted and hollered our success.

Now the real work would begin.

Larry: Intending to get the tree to fall in a particular spot, we threw the end of a long rope over a reachable branch, tied it to the tractor, and pulled it tight. We started our wedge shaped cuts with a lower cut on the back side and another on the front side to form a hinge when the tree fell. I misjudged and got them too far apart for the thickness of this large tree, so it leaned into the cut, but didn't fall. We made the cut deeper on the front side and eventually down it came. Whew! Wouldn't want to do this with an axe!

The last of many stages of getting to the tree.  

Now we can keep the bank mowed.

The cleanup crew: Erin, Todd, Larry, & Josh.  Me, too!

The tractor is guiding the tree with a rope. The wedges have been cut.

The fall was great as it hit the ground hard, shattered to pieces, and collapsed upon itself. 
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