Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.

~ Euripides ~

The Happy Ending That Nearly Killed Me

December 10th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 49 secs

Did you see what we just did to the clothesline?

It was either me or the tree. Well, either me, the tree, or the clothesline. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Happy endings never quite appear the way we mean them to be. They just find their own way at the right time. Which is a good thing, as I am a pushover for a happy ending.

So what is this about? Let me tell you what happened back when Ruth and I were newly married. We had moved into our first house. That’s wasn’t a happy ending. More of a happy beginning. But one day, Ruth was out for a few hours and I decided that the huge eucalyptus tree that was way too close to the house had to go. We had already talked about it. But Ruth and I, for lack of cash, couldn’t afford to get a tree surgeon in to cut it down.

Nevertheless, that afternoon I made my mind up. There had to be a happy ending to this tree business and so it was time to tackle the challenge.

I rang John, a friend who happened to have a new chainsaw that he was eager to use. Perfect. When John came round, he surveyed the tree. Then he surveyed me, and started laughing. “You’re mad,” he said. “That tree is huge.” But I climbed up with the aid of ropes, and branch-by-branch, the tree with roots that were ripping the house foundations was coming down.

How exciting! This was going to be a neat happy ending to the tree we couldn’t afford to have cut down saga. Ruth would be pleased. So when we started cutting the trunk near the base and pulled on the ropes, we were relieved it didn’t topple down onto the roof. Even so, the happy ending I was hoping for didn’t quite eventuate, as the mighty trunk swung round heavily, clipping the clothesline and bending it in two; snapping wires as it went.

This was not strictly a happy ending in the true sense. Not at least when Ruth came home and saw her beloved clothesline busted to bits. But she was gracious between sighs, and my repeated enthusiasm that I wasn’t wounded when the trunk unexpectedly toppled towards me. Meaning, it was a happy ending in the “lucky I wasn’t killed” sense. Tree surgery is a job for experts, not clowns with a chainsaw and bunch of ropes. Nonetheless we got the tree down. So that was a happy ending. Just that how it happened wasn’t quite the way we expected.




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