Who knew we had Paul Bunyan in the family tree?

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re going to leave our intrepid travelers stranded in Kentucky for a week (don’t worry, they’ve got plenty of Bourbon), but we’ll get back to them next week.

We spent the Fourth of July weekend bringing out the latent lumberjack in our two sons.

Terry drafted Alex and Ethan for a project that has been on her list for quite some time – chop down some of the unwanted trees that were growing around our yard.

We have plenty of wanted trees in the yard – several in the front yard, including one that was a memorial gift from my co-workers for our daughter Devon, and a row of evergreens along the alley behind the house that were gifts from our sister-in-law – but over the years, a lot more that have sprung up on their own.

After two-plus decades in the house, some of them were starting to get pretty substantial.

Since I’ve long since learned that any kind of sharp object in my hands is a dangerous thing – to both myself and anyone in close proximity to me – we had to find someone else to take on the job.

Alex volunteered for the job – apparently, his years in the Army Reserves haven’t taught him never to volunteer – and agreed to do it over the holiday weekend.

He borrowed a chainsaw from his older brother Ethan and went to work on the backyard forest.

None of them were cherry trees, however, so there was no need for him to pretend he was George Washington.

He did sleep all night and work all day, but while he did cut down trees, he didn’t wear high heels, suspenders or a bra – so there was no Monty Python here, just Paul Bunyan.

I did hack up a few of the smaller saplings and helped trim branches off the trees after he felled them, but that was pretty much the limit of my contributions to this effort.

He wasn’t able to get it all done on Thursday, so he came back Friday and Saturday to finish up – enlisting the help of one of his Army buddies the last day.

Fortunately, none of the trees was big enough to take out our house – or any of the neighbors’ – when they fell, although a few were pretty close.

Alex and his buddy were smart enough to make sure the trees dropped where they wouldn’t do any harm to any person or property.

They left the biggest one for last, one that was growing at the corner of the house and scraping on the roof of the house.

For that one, they enlisted Ethan’s help and used a ladder and ropes to bring it down safely in sections.

I don’t know when either one of them ever went to lumberjack school, or that the Army taught that in basic or advanced training, but the three of them did a great job of bringing all the trees down.

I’m not sure what Alex got out of it – except for several free meals when we fed the lumberjacks – but Ethan’s got some new firewood for their backyard fire pit.

And we’ve finally got a clear view of much of our backyard.

NEXT WEEK: Back to our old Kentucky trip.


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