While we were removing the bushes at the Old Paradise Church, we looked up and noticed the huge pine trees that surrounded the church. They’ve been there for a long time and have strong, deep roots. The thought came, there’s no way they can build the new church with those gigantic trees in the way.
We contacted the stake president, and he gave us permission to cut down the trees closest to the building. There were ten pine trees and two deciduous trees, twelve in all. During this last month, we’ve spent many days felling, sawing, and hauling away the massive trees that needed to be removed. In turn, our prayers were fulfilled. We obtained wood and had opportunities for our family to work together. God really does hear our prayers and generously provides for his children.
The children stood back in awe as the trees came falling down. There were so many branches and pine needles that it turned into a larger than life playground of climbing and hide-n-seek.
The children also helped drag, lift, load, and unload the branches. In the process, everyone seemed to get a few scratches, sore hands, and bruises here and there. The children learned that logging can be tiring and demanding but full of satisfaction and fun too
Marianne, our three-year-old, was a little tired and wanted to take a break. She found a stump that was freshly cut the day before. It appeared to be a good chair and just the right height for her to sit and rest awhile, but it turned out to be very sticky. During the night, the pine gum must have seeped out of the live stump. There was enough to cover the stump and soak through her pants all the way down to the skin.
Initially no one knew what had happened, and she said nothing about it. She was not stuck to the stump, so she continued playing. It wasn’t until potty time that we realized her predicament. Her underwear was stuck to her little behind, and her pants were more than glued to her underwear. It was a major feat, in and of itself, to get her underpants disconnected from her bum without tearing off a little skin. Oh, the experiences and joys of a lumberjack!
While we were working, a crane lifted a man up in a man box to disassemble and remove the ball and top of the steeple. We watched in fascination. The children thought it would be quite scary to be in the man box as it swung around in the air. The crane lifted it up and down several times to get additional tools and accessories. It was exciting to watch and gave us a break from hard work.
There were three trees that we didn’t remove because it wasn’t safe to do so. A power line ran through the trees; we decided to wait until the contractor disconnected the power before we attempted to take down the trees.
We were told that most of the old trees situated around the outer perimeter are going to be part of the new project and will fit into the new landscape. When we drove through town, we would go by the church and check if the power line was disconnected.
On May 15, 2012 as we were coming home from the post office, we noticed a chain link fence surrounding the church. We stopped and talked to the foreman about removing the pine trees that had the power line running through them. He didn’t want anyone inside of the fenced area and said the demolition crew would finish up the job. The track hoe was in process of knocking down trees that were in the way. The foreman said we could have all the firewood we wanted. The trees were located outside the fence on the north end of the church.
When we went to see what he was talking about, we were shocked to see so many trees uprooted. We watched as the track hoe pushed down the trees; they easily fell over. A track hoe can take down a tree a lot faster than our little Bobcat and chain saw.
We were under the impression the trees in the front yard and north field were staying, but the contractors have a plan, and many of those big trees are in the way. So many big beautiful trees came down in just one afternoon. Even some of our little curly trees were knocked over. We would like to have saved those curly trees.
When the foreman saw us show up the next day with a Bobcat and trailer, he came over and talked to us. He said, “It looks like you know what you’re doing. You can go on the other side of the fence to get the rest of the wood, just shut the gate behind you.” Even with permission, we felt uncomfortable going on the other side of the fence. We didn’t want to explain our situation to onlookers. It might also set precedence for others who did not receive permission. After talking to the foreman about our concerns, he pulled the wood to the outside of the fence so we could saw, load, and haul it away.