Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sweat equity is a thing, right?

Our latest project is wonderful and challenging, all at the same time. We have this huge vision and know that we have a big gap between the reality of our starting point and having a functional, beautiful space.

First on our list was the yard and future courtyard on the east side of the building. We knew that there were aspects of this portion we could tackle on our own and other portions that were beyond our skill set. But, we own clippers, trimmers and small handsaws and knew we could get to work. Jeremy eventually relented and borrowed my dad's chainsaw to tack some of the bigger overgrowth.

In full disclosure, the "we" in this statement is mostly Jeremy. I should also mention that this work was taking place in July and early August in Kansas. Sweat equity was quite literal.

After eight truck loads of small branches and overgrowth, we started to see a difference. We then knew we had to call in our "tree guy." Our tree guy is an arborist and we trust him to evaluate trees for condition and suitability. While we love, love, love trees, we had to agree that almost all of the trees had to be removed because of disease.

I missed all of the action of the two day process of taking down the trees. Jeremy was hands on for both days and learned a ton about trees and tree removal. We then got to share the firewood with friends and neighbors. For the mega-tree trunks left, we had to ask a friend to help remove them.

The end result is a virtual clean slate! We were able to save a few small trees that should now thrive since the way is cleared for them and they have less competition for water, nutrients and light.

We were able to save this large, established tree on the west side of the building. It did get a substantial haircut to keep the branches off the building. We lilac at the back of the property that I will anxiously watch for blooms in the spring.

We also were reminded of the joys of a small town. We rarely have traffic on the side street beside the building, but once trees started to fall, Jeremy and the crew had to stop traffic. Gawking in a beloved past time in every small town.

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