How hard can it be?
It was a plum, apparently, although I had always thought of it as a hawthorn because of the massive spikes it sported along its branches. I was always fearful whenever Sputnik climbed up into it that she would put an eye out on those spikes (when you become a mother, you automatically develop a fear of someone putting an eye out - it's a trait that's carried on the x chromosome that doesn't surface until the proper progesterone surge happens, apparently). And lately the neighbourhood kids have been running back and forth across our yard, ducking under the very low hanging branches of the plum tree and I was sure somebody was going to be impaled horribly.
So it was time for the tree to come down.
The first part went quite well. The Spousal Unit trimmed off the larger branches and I hauled them to the backyard. But when it came to sawing off the four-limbed trunk, we realised that we were going to have to break down and buy a chain saw after all. So while he headed to Canadian Tire, I started gathering up the rest of the branches.
All was well until I stood up while still under the god-damned tree and whacked my head hard on the branch. And then the blood started dripping onto my shirt and I had one of those oh shit moments. As in oh shit, I think I did some damage. I flung my gardening glove off and reached up to touch my head and encountered a 2 inch wooden spike sticking out of my head. I withdrew the spike from my skull, staggered into the house, and slapped the dishcloth on my head - the same filthy dish cloth with which I had cleaned up the counters earlier - and called out to the Resident Offspring, "I just stabbed myself in the head". "Oh dear" she replied, but did not come downstairs to check up on her poor dying mother.
She did come down a few minutes later as I was sitting on the stairs with my head between my knees. I think the moaning drew her away from the computer. Apparently she thought that I meant I had just whacked myself in the head with a branch. I guess she is used to me being a little overly dramatic at times.
Anyway, after staunching the blood flow, I did slap a little Polysporin on the wound and, trying not to imagine the possibility of any sort of parasite being present on the lobotomy spike and burrowing its eggs into my brain, I did survive enough to help the Spousal Unit take down the rest of the tree (whilst spouting bravadoes like "that bitch is coming down because now it's personal!") and cut most of it up for firewood.
This afternoon, I was in the backyard cutting up the remainder of the branches into pieces that would fit into the firepot when the neighbour down the road decided that the first nice warm Sunday afternoon we have had this year would be a good day to let his two little kids ride their little motorcycles that sound like sewing machines up and down and up and down and up and down the back lane.
The Resident Offspring had joined me in the backyard to paint while I cut up branches and started laughing at me as I launched into the usual passive-aggressive stance that I go into when I get pissed off at someone I don't know well enough to yell at. After a while I started glaring over the fence at their father who was leaning against somebody's garage door watching them roar back and forth, and then I tried hucking spruce cones at them to see if I could nail them in the helmet, and all the while the Resident Offspring was egging me on and asking me things like "who's more passive-aggressive, you or Thom Yorke?" and we would get into a discussion along the lines of WWTD (What Would Thom Do).
Finally, I decided it was time to act like an adult instead of working myself into a lather, and take the direct confrontation route, which I generally avoid like the plague. So headed out to the backlane, walked up to the
And he did!
I am so pleased with myself for taking direct action today instead of hiding behind passive-aggressive moves and getting progressively more pissed off. If that's what having a tree parasite burrow into your brain does, then I just might take up arbour-care as a hobby. Because I kicked ass today.