Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for August 15th, 2014

Oh Brother

with 4 comments

It has been six weeks that I have worked full-time at home in my new role as ranch manager. For me, that is a lot of work days with no one to talk to other than our animals. Yesterday, I got a break from the solitude when my brother, Elliott, showed up with all his tree climbing rigging gear, offering me a day of his services. Not only did I have someone to talk with, but it was family!

Not only was he offering his assistance, he was providing a priceless service of trimming tree branches that were well out of my reach. In particular, one “widow-maker” that had fractured long ago, but still clung to the base of its branch and swung near the location of the wood shed. That one has been bothering me for a long time.

I had originally tried my own crude methods to toss a line into that branch in hopes of snagging it so I could pull it down. I couldn’t get it to let go, so the branch continued to menacingly dangle there.

DSCN2254eDSCN2258eDSCN2261e.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

It was an incredible treat to watch my brother work. I had no idea it was possible to toss a line as high into a tree as he did, and successfully drop it down on the other side of a limb. Seeing him pull himself up made my arms tired just watching. Actually, after a while my neck muscles were complaining about how much time I spent with my head tipped back, looking straight up.

When he made it high up into the tree, he rigged two more points of security and then pulled out his saw to begin the cutting. From his new vantage point, he was able to spot dead branches to cut that I hadn’t even noticed from the ground. As he worked, we moved ever closer to the roof of the wood shed that is laying on the ground beneath this tree. To protect it, Elliott tied a rope to the branches about to be cut so they could be lowered in a controlled fashion.

DSCN2267eDSCN2270e.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

It is quite a process, and I was very intrigued by it, if not feeling a bit addicted. For the rest of the day after he left, I kept wanting to go back out and do more of that work. While helping to put away his gear, I asked Elliott to teach me how to “braid” the long ropes for storage the way he does. It’s slick because they easily come undone when you are ready to use them.

Being able to do these climbing and rigging skills would be a very handy thing for me, with the number of trees we have. It would require that I do a lot of learning to master tying the knots I need. I have difficulty remembering how to tie a knot soon after I learn it.

I don’t know that I would have the arm strength to do this, though. I have a permanently separated shoulder that means I have no skeletal strut supporting my collar-bone, and that leaves me significantly weaker on my left side.

I’ll just have to rely on the graciousness of my brother to make the trip out with all his gear again someday, to bring down more of the dangling dead branches that loom.

Elliott, I hope I didn’t drive you nuts with my excitement about having someone to pal around with yesterday. I can’t thank you enough for the “workout” you put in here. I am exceedingly grateful to have these branches down! Hope your arms aren’t too stiff today…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

August 15, 2014 at 6:00 am