The Grim Reaper Almost Got Me

Sometimes, I do stupid stuff.

Tuesday was no exception.

I’ve spent a solid 25 years behind a desk. There is a reason.

I suck at yard work. I know better. And yet, clearly, my adventurous, macho self doesn’t.

So, when the neighbor’s deciduous tree, clearly overgrown and hanging into our yard, was dropping seemingly four contractor’s bags worth of leaves into our pool, I took swift and decisive action. It was almost exactly three months after Rachel noticed.

I popped to Home Depot and bought the nicest thirty-four dollar manual 12′ tree saw they offered. Equipped with my weapon, I was now the Tree Slayer.┬áLet’s just say, I prepared to show that tree who was boss.

Except, I wasn’t. I wasn’t a Tree Slayer. I wasn’t even the boss. Never have been. Never will.

I worked 12′ overhead taking a small swipe at the giant tree. As I worked to disarm the enormous bicep of its gangling, octopus like discourteous leaf dropping arms, it stuck back for the 17 other limbs I had previously taken down. Despite my recently formed Herculean arms, I was not able to postpone gravity and slow the branch and the 12′ pole.

The pole lurched from my hand. It pummeled the ground and ricocheted towards me. Like a highly trained Nikita Khrushchev sickle, the saw jumped towards me – clearly angry. It took down my $5.00 glasses with its newly sharpened teeth. And, then, it inflicted the pain felt from the tree directly into my face.

[Side note: First, let me apologize for the ear hair. It’s a classic example of your Mother always telling you to wear clean underwear. And, trim your ear and nose hair.]

Upon impact, I knew I was in trouble. First, I was pissed at losing my $5.00 glasses to its wrath. I stood in the yard at the scene of the crime and stared at the blood on my hand. As calmly as I could, I walked to my bathroom holding my bleeding neck. I figured if I was making a mess, I didn’t need to exacerbate it by freaking out. I was absolutely scared shitless I had hit my carotid. I knew that would be a problem.

Thankfully, I didn’t. According to the ER Doctor, I missed it by an inch.

An inch. Maybe 7/8″. Or maybe 1 1/8″. I haven’t measured. I just know I have a new appreciation for “a miss is as good as a mile.”

Who would have thought? On a random Tuesday afternoon, I faced the Grim Reaper.

He spared me.

Life is cruel. Texting on your phone while driving. A few glasses of wine followed by a “short drive home.” Trimming a stupid tree. Stupid stuff that takes a second to change your life.

Life is one big, small sample. The margin of error is short. It’s why I’m going to celebrate and love my people. And, I’ll stop trimming trees.

I hope you do too.

Random Quote

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

— Goethe

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