What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

The Tree

I moved into my home in late 2005. Unlike more traditional moves, this home had been that of my high school best friend, where he had grown up. Many memories had been made before it became my own. Few physical things changed in the first few years I occupied my new home. Three seasons of the year in upstate New York found me enjoying the back yard after the hustle-bustle of everyday.

Two years after moving in, new neighbors moved into the house to the west of my dead-end street. They let me know they intended to build a deck, and one of my trees did over hang the southeast corner of their home. Said deck was built, and as I had a drainage problem in the spring due to this particular tree, I decided to remove it. Tree removal quotes seemed expensive, but my grandfather convinced me that we could do it on our own. The tree sat almost directly between both houses.

We started early on a Thursday morning, Mike (my neighbor), my grandfather and I hooked up a rope to the tree, hooked it to the back of a truck, to help pull the tree to the south, away from both homes. My grandfather has heated his house with a wood stove for well over thirty years, cutting down trees and splitting his own firewood. He operated the chainsaw, cutting at an angle to fall the tree to the south, presumably falling in the backyard, between both houses, all while I kept pressure on the tree by pulling away in the truck.

I should have hired the professional. Period. The tree had too much weight over Mike's home, and although we tried to pull it with the truck to the south, it fell to the west. Right on top of Mike's new deck. Mike was standing on my right side as it fell. Mike, verbatim; "oh.. no.. My deck..

My heart dropped into my lower stomach. Luckily for Mike (and I), the deck was very well built, and only slightly bent the railing.

The moral of the story- somethings are best left to the pros. And trees fall harder than you might think.


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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