Early in the spring of 2015, I was in the process of getting dressed as I looked out of my bedroom window. Just as I gazed over toward the line of trees separating the parking lot of our apartment building with that of the public library next door, a tall ivy covered tree began crackling. As I looked on this giant of nature toppled toward me, smashing across the small patch of asphalt serving as the driveway cars use to get to the parking lot. I quickly ran out to find Joshua, who was a little frightened by the incredible noise a tree makes when crashing to the ground, to tell him it was ok, and he should come out on the balcony with me. With a little trepidation which quickly diminished before intense excitement, we stepped onto the balcony to see a fallen and dismembered tree straddling the driveway, and blocking all traffic. Amazingly, not a single car in the parking lot was hit.
Joshua and I were utterly enthralled! We called Jan to let her know a tree had fallen. Joshua could not climb high enough to see all he wanted to, so we set up his stool so he could stand up and see everything. We all came out the balcony to check out the awesome destructive power of Ivy upon one of nature's strongest creatures. After a quick call to let the building maintenance people know what happened, we all sat down to have breakfast on the balcony while watching different work crews come to assess and then address this fallen tree.
Thinking back to when we owned our house and our neighbors tree fell into our yard, this tree falling into the apartment building parking lot was a lot more fun, and far less costly! After that neighbor's tree fell I spent several weeks out there with a chain saw, ax, and sledge hammer attempting to break it up, before finally teaming up with a couple other neighbors to go in on a wood splitter together to make us all huge piles of firewood. That event had cost me several hundred dollars, and too many hours of back suffering labor, with little real enjoyment or entertainment value. Not to mention, we used what wood we could, but most of it ended up rotting before it was seasoned enough to use in our fireplace. That tree had been ivy covered too, so the wood really wasn't all that great to burn anyway.
At our apartment, on our balcony, watching the work crews address the fallen tree we talked about how interesting it is that they worked in the way they did. Over the course of three days we invited Joshua's young friends over to watch the crews dismantle the tree, clear it from the driveway, and then eventually remove an additional tree which must have been on the edge of collapsing. We enjoyed three very full days of entertainment for no cost at all (save for a few cold drinks and lunch for friends).
Contrasting the two tree falling experiences, we were so thankful to live in an apartment where we could just watch with enjoyment and no cost, rather than have to figure out how to get this damn thing out of our backyard. Just another reminder how we made the right choice for ourselves to sell our house.
Joshua still talks about the tree. Joshua's friends remember it fondly. Jan and I will always remember too, how we felt great to learn how they took down trees. We made several videos of the process once we thought to do so, which you can find and share here.
Have you ever seen an act of nature turn into free entertainment?
What's your favorite act of nature?