All in Good Time
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Somewhere in my gene pool, there must be a home improvement chromosome floating around because I've been blessed with the talents of being able to repair just about anything around the house. God equipped me accordingly because He must have known that I would be marrying a man who thinks "time" will fix everything and that hammers are only used for throwing at big, scary bugs. Hence, my need to know how to install drywall, window glass, and the cat's prosthetic legs.

I do have limitations in my scope of talents and had to hire a professional to take a tree down in my backyard. My husband kept telling me that it would come down by itself, as it was ridden with ants and had been dropping branches on the neighbors' fences and into their yards. Since I like to stay on the good side of our neighbors, I decided to call an insured, professional to handle the job. I've since found that "professional" doesn't always mean competent. In this case, it meant that two guys in their 80's with a chainsaw, a rake, and seven teeth would be taking down my tree.

I thought it was a bit odd that they were able to attend to my tree the day after the estimate was given. Maybe their age had something to do with their lack of other contracts. Maybe some people were bothered by the fact that they were dentally challenged--not to mention they had a combined IQ of firewood.

I had some concerns because the tree was in the back corner, in a tricky spot, butted up against my two neighbors' fences and placed amidst my prized shrubbery. Now, I don't claim to be a tree expert, but my understanding is that someone would climb the tree, take down the smaller branches, and work his way down, removing it in a methodical manner. Clearly, these guys didn't feel like they had much time left on earth, so they got right down to business. Three hits with the chainsaw and the tree was down. One limb fell on my next door neighbor's fence, one limb fell on my other neighbor's fence, and the other fell on my shrubs. My husband was right. Time would have done that, and it would have saved us $180 and the need to call 911 for one of the professionals.

Apparently being 80 and hauling large tree limbs out to the road is a recipe for a pulmonary emergency. My husband didn't think it was necessary to call an ambulance. He said, "Just give him a couple of minutes and see if he can lift his head from the sewer drain on his own."

I ran inside to call but was further annoyed because the paramedics took so long to get to our house that a family of chipmunks had time to build a nest in the old man's hair. By the time the medical help arrived the chipmunks had installed French doors made up of two maple leaves and an acorn and were starting to put up wainscoting. They were chattering up a storm, while building, and if I could understand chipmunkese, I would imagine they were talking about the prime square footage they had acquired and how they would be spending their winter vacations in this new space instead of my garage.

I found it ironic that these gnawing animals the size of a sausage link were more efficient than my hired professionals. I was sorry I hadn't contracted them to do the job.

Before the paramedics took away the old man, I watched the chipmunks walk back toward my garage with as much dignity as anyone who had just been evicted. My furry friends were able to grab what they could from their temporary home. They were carrying what was left of their living room set: a Coor's Light bottle cap and a sparrow's feather. They headed for their usual spot in the back corner of our garage, near the bag of bark mulch and my husband's box of hammers.

I guess my husband was right about his time theory. Time really does take care of everything. The tree came down in no time, the ambulance came in their own sweet time, the chipmunks had a counter-productive time, and my husband timed his hammer throw just right and killed a bee on the cat's good leg.

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