Last March, when FD’s mother passed away, our first big endeavor was to clean out the house, and go through items in the garage, barn and garden shed. Overwhelming as it was, we managed to get through the worst of the hoarding in about six months. FD still needs to go through the garage with a fine-toothed comb but, mostly, the junk has been hauled off, and what remains just needs to be organized. There is still a heap of junk stored up in the rafters of the garage and barn that his grandparents could not part with. Like many people of their time, they tended to hoard items and could not throw anything out because “they might need it later for something”. Most of it looked to be saved cardboard and wood crating, old carpeting and extra roofing material, and saved wood and metal. This all under layers upon layers of dirt and dust.
We had known for years that FD’s mother had let the house insurance policy drop after she moved into the home. Not up to code, and having an asbestos roof, the house was not insurable in its current condition. We knew our best bet was to assure there was no threat to the house and buildings. FD’s mother was a lover of trees and refused to cut anything down so, in the forty years she lived in the house, trees and shrubs took over. The yard became a jungle, and some trees near the house and garage became monstrous. Eventually, so many trees and shrubs took over from the street view too, that the house virtually disappeared in the greenery, and sometimes looked as if it was an abandoned structure. Looking around at all this overgrowth, we vowed to remove all of the trees and most of the shrubbery around the house as soon as we could manage it.
Shortly after FD’s mother passed away, a couple of fellas from a tree service came through the neighborhood asking about possible work. I took a business card from them, but I knew FD hoped we could do the tree removal ourselves. We had priced having trees cut down in the past, and it was just way too expensive. A couple of weeks later, after seeing one of our neighbors was having some tree trimming done, we discussed the difficulty of removing trees that close to the house and all along the garage. With that, FD called the tree service and, though it was a lot of money to part with at the time, it was a good move. This would be so much safer since this crew had all of the necessary equipment, and they were professionals. They took out five huge trees that day, and the crew even did some extra trimming for us in the barnyard area. We were impressed and pleased with the work they did.
Then nearly a year later, this past February, the brother’s that own the tree service came by to say they had a small job in town, and wondered if we had any additional work for them to do. They indicated because of the COVID-19 outbreak, business was way down for them and they needed work to keep their crew employed, if at all possible. Under these circumstances, they were willing to cut us a good deal if we had anything for them to do. So I pointed out a few trees FD and I had discussed taking out ourselves.
We had three trees with rotten trunks around the pool fence, just waiting for the right storm to bring them down on our fence and pool! And we had an old elm that was shading a new oak so much that it was not growing well. There was still three huge cedar trees at the rock house that needed to come down and a very tall pine tree that really posed a problem. Not only did they threaten the rock house and old barn, and our metal storage building, but they were in the electric service drop from the house to the barns.
After looking the work over, the bid was made, and that included stump removal. Apparently they had just purchased a stump grinder and wanted to try it out. The price was right for all of the work we were having them do. So another seven trees came down, the huge elm in front of our house got a trim, and stumps were ground on all trees – even the ones cut the previous year!
What a relief to have all of this work done! And I find myself very thankful that this crew of fellas arrived when they did. We needed their skills, they needed the work, and the price was right for all. Now, the next phase of work could begin… moving dirt.
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