The Tree Event

I was out in the barn when it happened—BOOM. I peaked outside the door and could see a giant tree had fallen across my driveway. “Shit.” I was preparing to head south for a weekend in New Jersey. In twenty minutes, I would have had the dogs packed into the van and we’d be on our way. Well, that was the plan.

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Living alone in the north country often means nothing goes as planned.

Instead of heading south, I checked the damage. The power line was wedged beneath the tree, pulled off one of the poles. The Spectrum line was also down. I went inside and sure enough, the internet and cable were out. Surprisingly, the power was still on, which meant I had a live wire to deal with. OK, so now what?

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I called National Grid and they had a maintenance worker out within an hour. He informed me that the tree had fallen “beyond the box”. This meant that it was technically my problem. Genuinely unsure of what to do, I asked if it was at least safe for me to begin working on the tree with my chainsaw. After inquiring about the whereabouts of my husband—hah—he realized my predicament, and offered to help free the wire (the least he could do). Working together, we cut a gap in the tree trunk and passed the wire through so that it was in the air again. He also helped me clear the middle of the tree that was blocking my driveway. A kind gesture despite the mild sexism, exposed butt crack, and accidental flatulence.

I spent another three hours cutting down the remainder of the tree and moving it into a pile. I managed to get the saw blade pinched only once, which required me to then hack through a limb with my axe to relieve the tension on the blade. I almost phoned in help, but unleashed my spinster rage to do the job. The battery on my saw died before I could finish the entire tree, but I did enough to feel accomplished.

Later that night, a Spectrum technician came out to fix the cable wire and get my internet up and running. I was able to get up early the next morning and continue on with my original plans to visit family, despite the brief setback. I’ve since cut the remainder of the tree. Now I just need to rehang the power line, split the wood, and stack it for seasoning.

I guess I can check “cut down tree for future firewood” off the list.

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