Thursday, February 06, 2020

Sick Day, With Men In The Trees

     Yesterday, as I typed my blog entry for the morning, I was fighting an increasing headache and dizziness.  It just kept getting worse, adding ear pain, tingling fingertips, and worsening typing and spelling.

     I kept on, doing my best to ignore it and remember what the Stoics had to say.*  Along about getting into the shower time, I realized that walking wasn't going well, standing still was even more difficult, and as for showering--  If you're seriously nearsighted, the shower is pretty daunting on a good day: I have to find soap and shampoo, nailbrush and washcloth by color and touch, and rely heavily on keeping things in the very same spot.  As unsteady as I was, the process was going to be unsafe at best.  After dithering and waiting just a little longer to see if the aspirin and acetaminophen was going to help any more than it already had, I gave up and called in sick.

     Back to bed for most of the morning.  Around eleven, my phone rang.  It was the tree service.  Yes, they'd planned on next Monday, but today's job had gone quicker than expected, and did I mind if they worked on my trees today?

     Bad weather was closing in -- rain, snow and cold.  But it was just overcast and chilly, and the ran wasn't supposed the start in earnest until late afternoon.  This time of year, outdoor work chases the weather.  Of course I said yes.

     Tam moved the cars out of the way and the crew showed up ahead of schedule.  By noon, a half-dozen guys were trimming the hackberry stump in the back yard as low as chainsaws could manage, followed bu parking a crane truck above it.  They ran a tracked knuckleboom with a basket in from the front yard and with an hour, they were taking down the poor old broken maple, cutting away big sections and hoisting them up over the house and the power drop to set them on a flatbed or feed their woodchipper.

     They were, in fact, hoisting the sections of tree right over my room on the way from the side yard to to the flatbed.  I adjourned to the living-room couch and then to the office when I decide the living room was too close and too noisy.

     The rain started in about three in the afternoon, just a cold, light mist.  The crew had the tree down to one short and one long trunk by then, and kept on; as the rain got stronger, they took the last several sections out, removed their heavy machinery, and cleared the away the debris with powerful leaf blowers and plain old rakes.  They were done long before sundown, just as the rain turned to sleet, and I went back to bed.

     We're just about out of trees.

     I woke up in late evening and watched The Court-Martial Of Billy Mitchell all the way through.  An interesting film, though it rearranges history and personalities a little to tell the story.  Nevertheless, you can set him down with Hector Bywater as someone who had a pretty good idea how things might go in the Pacific, and Bywater published a few years after General Mitchell.  Mitchell's ideas about air power were thoroughly vindicated -- much too late for him; he was court-martialed in the mid-1920s, essentially for stubbornness and a lack of diplomacy, and died in 1936.  He stood up for what he believed, at great personal and professional cost.  Few people do.
* Most Stoic advice along those lines can be reduced to, "It won't get any better if you pick at it."


Anonymous said...

Its interesting how loud construction noises become when its your property getting renovations. I remember when Dad added onto our home when I was young, the incessant pounding and sound of equipment running really bothered me. Took two and half months to finish - so relieved to see that finished.

Sorry your health is not good for the moment - hope that improves as quickly as possible.

Anonymous said...

LOL...."Men In The Trees" almost sounds like it could be the response to a security challenge.

Challenge: "Would you like to go for a walk in the woods?"
Response: "There are men in the trees."

Or maybe like one of those coded radio messages from the French resistance in WWII.

"The crow flies in the shadow of the eagle."

waepnedmann said...

Those large pieces of tree being boomed over the house would be very unverving. I have seen the clutch for line slip and loads come down unexpectedly. We shut down operations in the rain.