Storms and wind snapped a branch high atop our sweet gum tree. And like Wile E. Coyote, I was going to come up with a plan.
The tree branch finally fell. We had been watching for updates all week.
Storms and wind snapped a branch high atop our sweet gum tree. The break was partial and its weight sat on the branch below.
The tree is huge. In fall it covers the yard in bright yellow leaves. It's beautiful until you have to rake them. Then it drops spiky seeds the size of a golf balls everywhere. They are not beautiful.
Nine out of the 10 times I'm laying in the backyard is because I stepped on one of the those with no shoes on. They are nature's Lego blocks.
But this tree is so grand, I like it anyway. Except for the large dangerous limb hanging two stories above our heads.
A new rule was decreed to our and our neighbor's kids. "Don't go in this area of the backyard."
Of course, they all ran to that spot to see why.
A few days later, a game of chase-each-other-with-pool-noodles was awkward. My daughter stopped before she reached the shed, looked up and ran the other way. None of us were sure where we could go, so we gave it a wide berth to be safe. The limited space made for an especially violent pool noodle battle.
It's tough to judge the size of something so high up. Like when you realize the blades on a wind turbine are the size of a school bus.
During the week, my wife would text me photos as parts of the branch fell. First, the tiny twig fell, which was really about 7 feet long. Then another "tiny" 12-foot long one fell.
My wife and I discussed getting estimates to have someone climb up and cut it down. But it was storming so much, we hoped maybe Mother Nature would save us the expense.
We looked at it then at each other. Maybe we could just pull it down yourselves, we both said at the same time.
For several days, I drew up plans on the chalkboard in my head. The irony that I had just showed my daughters a bunch of Coyote vs. Road Runner cartoons was not lost on me. And I wondered if ACME delivers in Ohio.
How do we pull it down? Maybe fishing line tied to a baseball and the laundry line, I thought. Or perhaps I could just gather every ball we have and throw them at the branch until my miraculous fastball brings it down.
Maybe some sort of storm dance would blow it down. Maybe I could pretend like I'm an expert tree climber and not uneasy about being up really high and cut it down with a chainsaw.
Then my wife texted me a photo of our 3-year-old posing next to the massive branch in the grass. It had finally fallen.
Oh, thank God, I thought. This saves me from being the guy who died by pulling a branch on his head with a jump rope.
Now, we just need a plan to clean it all up.
Reach Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-580-8490
On Twitter: @DaveManley