Yesterday I told you about what gets me a little freaked out and makes me temporarily lose my marbles. Today I’m going to illustrate that I’m not the only one in my family who can get a little silly when worried. I am talking about my wonderful husband.
But what riles Jim is entirely different from what gets to me. I can’t get along without my e-mail, internet, and cell phone, as you read yesterday. Together they comprise my sense of security and my connection to the world outside of my little corner of it. Jim, although he loves his technology, remains calm, cool, and collected in the face of power outages and down internet, at least for the short-term.
However, impending storms, especially big ones, get him examining every tree around the yard for its potential to come down. I completely understand this, and I agree with his thinking, but on one occasion, which I’m going to tell you about, he lost sight of the forest for the trees, or I should say tree.
It happened on a September day eight years ago, when Emerald was just two. Hurricane Isabel was expected to travel right over our fair town so we were making all the usual preparations. We stocked up on non-perishables, particularly food that we wouldn’t need to cook. We stocked up on water. And we surveyed the yard for trees that might come down on the house. Jim identified one particular very tall dead tree that if felled in the wrong direction would squarely hit our house. That one had to come down in a controlled fashion before the storm, even though it was already 5:30 in the evening (after a long day of work) and almost dark.
So while I was inside with Emerald, Jim went outside to tackle said tree. A long time passed and I became worried that he was still outside. So like any concerned wife, I went to check on him. As I rounded the house, what did I see, but Jim holding a rope he had tied around the tree and pulling it toward himself. Yes, I said toward himself. As I’m sure you can imagine, tact did not enter my head at all. Instead, I hollered, “Jim, what are you doing? Are you crazy?” The sheer panic in my voice stopped him. He then began to explain how he’d lost his head.
It seems this tree took after every living thing in our household and was very, very stubborn. It all started out completely normally. He cut the tree with his chain saw. But he didn’t know that this tree had no intention of going down. So when it was completely severed from its stump, rather than falling over, it hopped upright to another spot adjacent to its original one. Stunned, Jim tried again.
This time, because it wasn’t actually attached to anything, when he tried to make the cut, the tree shifted and pinched the chain saw, trapping it in the middle of the tree. So he went and got his bow saw and began cutting in the other direction to try to get his chain saw out. That saw also got caught in the tree. Since he was now out of saws, he got his ax and tried to chip away at the tree to get the saws out. By now the tree was so wobbly, it kept moving, and the ax got stuck, too.
So now he had two saws and an ax stuck and a still-upright, but no-longer-attached-to-anything, tree. Now he was completely freaked out because if there was any chance this tree would survive Isabel before, there was no chance now that she wouldn’t bring it down, even though he couldn’t.
That’s when he started pushing on the tree to try to knock it down. Now my beloved husband is a fairly big man and very strong, but he was no match for that tree. So now quite agitated, he lost all sense of reason and tied the rope to the tree, got in front of it, and began pulling. Thankfully, that’s when I decided to go outside, and not a few minutes later, although truth be told, I don’t know if he would have actually been able to pull that tree down, given it’s determination to stay “on its feet” so to speak.
By the time he finished his story, cooler heads had prevailed and he decided the best recourse was to tie the unattached tree to a neighboring tree and hope and pray for the best. So that’s what he did (well, he did the tying and we both did the hoping and praying).
The next morning, we were relieved to see that although Isabel did bring down that bull-headed tree as expected, it fell in the right direction and our house was spared. And most importantly, I still had my precious husband. Hopefully, he’s now a bit wiser for it, too.
Note: Jim has read, approved, and encouraged this post. 🙂
Your turn. Is there anything that gets you worried enough that you momentarily stop thinking very well or even resort to being silly?