One of the first things we did once we moved in to our dream home, was to take down some trees in the back garden which were blocking our view. My husband, Kerr, bought a new chainsaw and told me not to worry, he had lots of experience felling trees. The first one came down without a hitch, landing neatly between the rose arbor and the charming wooden back gate whose slats make a heart shape when closed. He cut off the branches and stacked up the firewood which would feed the wood stove the following year. The second tree was going well, he said later, up to a point. The point in question was the point at which it suddenly decided to fall the other direction, toward him and our neighbour’s house.
I was in the house when when I heard the shout, the crash and the sound of breaking glass, I dashed back out on to the balcony looking for signs that Kerr was unhurt. He picked himself up out of the cedar branches and relief coursed through my veins. That’s when I realized he’d dropped a tree on our neighbour’s place. So naturally, I did quite a lot of yelling, envisioning being sued and other calamitous outcomes but mostly just venting my anxiety from him dropping a tree on his thick head.
The tree had actually missed our neighbour’s house, but caught the electrical wires and pulled those out of his house knocking a hole in his roof and breaking a decorative light post on his deck. There was a lot of to-doing with firemen, electric company people, the insurance people, the claims adjuster people, and finally the owner who turned out to be a very nice and understanding man who lived in the city and was trying to sell his house (unsuccessfully) and who decided he better just move back and take care of his place. So we gained a lovely neighbour instead of an empty house. The whole debacle just cost us a reasonably small deductible.
On the plus side everyone in the village came out of their houses to see what the new guy had done. We met an awful lot of really nice people. One lovely white haired Scotsman named Campbell said to Kerr, “Ack. Do na fash yerself, Lad. When I cut down my tree, I took out the power to the whole village!” Kerr felt that Mr. Campbell might be implying that Kerr hadn’t really done his best.
Once I stopped calmed down and made sure my husband was really fine, and the damage to the property next door was minimal and repairs were underway, I took the time to marvel at the view the downing of the infamous tree and its better behaved neighbours allowed us. It was worth it.