One of the caveats that came with the house and property we bought from my dad is the large number of trees that my dad planted more than 30 years ago that have since taken over the yard. They are mostly huge, huge, huge evergreen trees (you know the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center each year? these are too big to qualify...)
While we're not huge fans of the trees that ring the property, there are two in particular that have been the bain of our existence because one is planted in the center of the front yard (blocking the house) and the other is planted in the center of the backyard (blocking the yard from the house). The Pretend Husband and I have always talked about getting them taken down in both a "wouldn't it be nice if we had some extra money and could hire a tree service?" kind of way (me) and a "I bet I could get a couple of buddies over here and take them down" kind of way (him).
While I tend to plot and plan, the PH can be a mite more impulsive, as evidenced by the phone call I got on a Friday afternoon announcing that he and kat's lil bro had been text messaging and decided they were going to take down the tree in the front yard. When I couldn't convince the PH it might not be a good idea to undertake such a big project without any idea how to even begin, I pulled lil bro aside and said, "I expect you to be the voice of reason. If you guys don't know how to do this without sending the tree into the house, don't go through with it." His response was, "How hard can it be?"
Which is how, within minutes, my brother was cutting a notch on one side of the tree while the PH stayed out of the way (I think he figured, if he didn't physically handle the chainsaw, he wouldn't be responsible for the tree crashing into the second floor of our house). So, the tree was notched on the side the guys wanted it to fall on, the wood was cleared out of the notch and... nothing happened. The tree didn't move.
My brother continued cutting until the chainsaw got stuck and turned off, which is when... we heard a crack... and the tree started moving... toward me, who was standing in front of our garage (so, it didn't fall directly toward the house at least, but still not in the direction it was supposed to go).
I ran, kat's lil bro ran from where he was at the base of the tree and the PH stood out of range staring in a horrified manner as the tree fell-- in the exact opposite direction from where the guys had planned for it to fall.
Luckily, it missed everything (our house, the garage, my dad's cannons, cars passing by the road, Molly and Casey) except two branches of another nearby tree. I spent the rest of the night saying to the PH, "You guys are soooo lucky. So lucky." And he responded, "It wasn't luck." To which I would reply, "It wasn't luck? Then what was it? Because it sure wasn't skill!"
Yes, I'm grateful for the new and improved view from our front door. No, I will not be letting the PH, kat's lil bro and their mighty chainsaw near the tree in the backyard. Some things-- like someone who knows how to send a tree in the direction it's intended-- are worth paying for.