The Dance of Three


During the past week, I found myself wishing I was a guy in my twenties so I could go climb trees and wield a chainsaw. The process appealed to me. There is organization and scheduling that must take place to ensure that a tree comes down safely.

I know I can still climb trees as the “fairer” sex and still do. However, there is something to be said for additional upper body strength if you are going to participate in what I like to call the Dance of Three. You have to have one to cut ’em, one to hold ’em, and one to cart ’em away. Now put it to the tune of Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler.

To watch this tree go down I pulled up a red camp chair on the back porch and stared (and snapped pictures) as this process unfolded before me. I am sure the three guys working that day were less than impressed at their audience of one but I couldn’t pull myself away for the hour or so it took them to cut down this tree.

This was what we started with:

The story goes that when hurricane Hugo came through a tornado touched down in the neighbor’s yard and then twisted the top of this twin trunk tree and it has grown funny ever since. It also had some weird fungus all over it. Throw in its encroaching proximity to our roof and we decided it was time for it to come down.

So, up the tree went the man with the chainsaw. The one who cuts ’em.

After he threw the orange rope over a limb above his head, he then hooked it to the harness around his waist and legs. If he had ever lost his balance, that orange rope would have been his life line.

The blue rope was also thrown over a branch above him and then tied onto the branch he was cutting. The longer end of the rope went to the ground where the guy who held ’em, held fast to the rope.

Cutting commenced.

And branch fell. This one came down a little closer to me than most. Keep in mind, I am standing on a covered porch that is about eight feet off the ground so I was relatively safe.

The one who holds ’em used brute strength to control the branches trajectory and slow its fall to the earth.

Process was repeated.

Until there was less . . .

and less . . .

and then there was . . .

no more.

If the tree that fell two weeks ago was any indication, I know this tree needed to go. Still, I find myself a little nostalgic for this tree and the three others that once graced our front and back yards. As David said to me the other night, “it’s sad to see a tree go.”

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away and know when to run
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.”

-Kenny Rogers


About Southern Adventuress

Transplant from California now living in Charleston, South Carolina after getting married in September 2010 to a Southerner. Join me as I reinvent my house on a strict budget, navigate the streets of my city; meet the challenges of pet ownership; and delve into education after institutional learning.

2 responses »

  1. I remember when you actually wanted that CD for Christmas one year….we were perplexed, but I guess it stuck with you!

    Love you,

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