I Had Fun But..Did I Break The 6th Commandment?
I have not been around much on social media as I have been on vacation. Vacation at the Smith home is not simply lounging around and drinking beer and this blogger is not just a writer…he can use power tools and aerial lifts. I took this week off of work and removed a bunch of trees that were about 50-60 feet high with branches that spread out over fences, sheds, decks, gardens. In order to safely fall them, I needed an articulating boom lift, a little ingenuity, a strong stomach, and a friend with more courage than I. I am familiar with lifts as I use them almost daily at work. However, I use them around buildings on concrete, and I am usually installing something small, not destroying something huge…in the wind. When a lift is fully extended, it sways..and so does the tree…I soon realized why it costs so much to have a professional come in to fall trees of this massive size around things that might break. Here is a before picture of my back yard…by the way that barbecue grill is 30 years old (no joke)…I digress.
Now those trees may not look that big in this pic, but consider that I am about 25 feet up in the air in this pic and tree is wider in girth than I…and very heavy. There is very little room for error. There were at least 4-5 times, during the 2 days it took to remove the many trees, that I had an adrenaline rush.
Here is a video of the first one. This was shot from my back deck by my wife on her phone. ( Hi Teresa) As you can see the tree clears the deck by about 4 feet. As well there are fences, and 2 sheds with in 15-20 feet of the tree. It is not at all impressive on the video, but from the lift, with sheds and fences around it was a crazy rush to use a strap to cause the section to pivot and fall exactly how we wanted. (Thanks Rob for your “expertise”.)
Later a section fell loose from it’s strap and hit my hand, missing my head by an inch…I was shaken up, my hand was swollen, and I was nauseated after that. But we kept going, even though we should have stopped at that point. Later on while cutting this same tree near the bottom we hit the lift with a chunk of tree trunk that was about 20 feet long and about 50″ in diameter…I used a calculator and found that it weighed over 12,000 pounds.
I can’t upload the video of the boom being hit, but if you are on Facebook, my bro in law tagged me in it and you can see it there.
So, I had fun. I got mildly hurt but I was the only casualty. I worked hard and so did the other guys. The lord blessed us with a week of hot sunny weather, but I fear I may have broken the 6th commandment. I am not sure, but let’s see what the Heidelberg catechism has to say:
Q.What does God require in the sixth commandment?
A. I am not to dishonour, hate, injure, or kill my neighbour by thoughts, words, or gestures, and much less by deeds, whether personally or through another;1 rather, I am to put away all desire of revenge.2 Moreover, I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself.3 Therefore, also, the government bears the sword to prevent murder.4
..recklessly endanger myself…hmmm…I guess the jury is still out. At least my trees are down and the kids can play.
Here is a pic from this morning after the carnage
Thanks to Rob for lining up the trailer and the “ditch witch.” Both of which were invaluable.
Thanks to Greg, Travis, Javin, Gerard, and Timothy for helping with the physical labour and the other ways they helped.
Thanks to Dennis and Ray for the use of their farms and their burn permits, and for Ray’s Pole Saw.
Thanks to Teresa for running for food/coffee/cold drinks/keeping kids away etc.
Thanks to the wives/mothers of the guys who came out for being patient.
Soon we’ll have you all over for a BBQ.