Bring on the wind!

I’m not an intentionally confrontational person. So when my husband and I made the decision to cut down trees in my backyard I should have just kept my mouth shut. Of course I didn’t.

I elatedly texted my Florida friend of my plans thinking she’d celebrate the notion of opening up the garden to more light. She was not amused even when I told her how terrifying it was in the house during our latest windstorms with 40 mph gusts. She countered with, “Uh, hurricanes. 70 mph.” Then she sent me an article that stated only 50 people a year die from being hit by a tree and 500 die from falling out of bed.

I’ve only been to Florida three or four times, and only to Disney World, so I’ve never observed their variety of trees. I’m thinking palm trees with deep roots. All I know for sure is though I really liked the trees in my backyard, when I sat inside my all-glass sunporch and looked straight up I couldn’t see the top of the large fir hovering above my head. They were beautiful and majestic and, from my understanding, shallow rooted.

My 23-year-old daughter was against the idea until she was at home alone when the first windstorm whipped through. She was ready to crawl into bed with us that night, but probably didn’t because though we protect her from what we can, even we can’t stop a tree from falling on the house.

Which, by the way, was my main reason for cutting them down. I wasn’t afraid of dying by tree, I was afraid of them falling on the house which would have unleashed a whole stressful conundrum. Maybe those 500 people who died falling out of bed fell out of bed because a tree fell on their houses.

So I called an expert referred by my Edward Jones guy, who took one look and said the job was too big for him. He referred us to P and D Logging. Now you know me, I’m either smart or lazy when it comes to finding people to do work I need. If I get a referral, and if I feel good vibes upon meeting them, I’ll go with them.

Chris Jr. came out to do the bid; he and his father own the company. He was very considerate of my angst as he gazed up at the biggest tree and said, “It’s a stout tree, but trees can fall.” He wasn’t trying to talk me into or out of removing them, and probably gave me the most honest, unbiased opinion. Though I had peace after talking to him, I still struggled with the guilt of removing God’s creations that were probably older than me. Then I realized had I not said anything to my Florida, tree-hugging friend, I would not have given it a second thought. So we hired P and D.

It was a HUGE job. Not only did we have seven backyard trees taken down, but we also took out ten trees in front to prepare for my husband’s new shop. His multiple crews were all over our yard like monkeys: climbing trees, repelling down, wielding the crane and other heavy machinery some in the front, some in the back. It was awesome to watch. They had all the trees down and the yard cleaned up in six hours. Plus I opted to leave the stumps in the back as interesting garden features and they carved “flower pots” into them for me.

The yard is more gorgeous than ever. Oh, and by the way, we still own a small forest that stands respectfully away from the house. Bring on the wind!

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website, or to see pictures illustrating her columns, follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh. Her column is always available at under the Life section.

More in Life

The Soup Ladies need a new truck

Rotary Club of Maple Valley leads fundraiser for volunteers who feed first responders.

The Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra presents “Sunday Afternoon by the Sea” at 2 p.m. May 19 at the Tahoma High School Performing Arts Center. Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Maple Valley Youth Symphony to play with U2 tribute band

Other events include ‘Mamma Mia!’ at Kentlake HS; Harry Potter movie night.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.
Pulling the right strings

What would we do these days without Father Google to teach us how to manage life’s challenges?

In May, Kentlake High School will present several performances of the ABBA-inspired musical “Mamma Mia!” Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Kentlake presents ‘Mamma Mia!’

Also on tap: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council will meet about water issues.

Gardeners love our veggie-friendly Western Washington climate

Here are the most incredible edibles to grow now.

Always and forever

With the exception of my blackberry meltdown last week, I have finally… Continue reading

Fishing boats sit on the shore of Lake Wilderness during the Hooked On Fishing Derby. Photo by Kayse Angel
The 2019 Hooked On Fishing Derby

The derby took place at Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley over the weekend

Maple Valley wood carver creates chainsaw art

Ken Gruenes spends his retired days creating art out of tree stumps with his chainsaw.

Hunter Coffman and his family pose with Stitch in Hawaii. One of Hunter’s dreams was to meet Stitch and it was mad possible because of community support. Submitted photo from Laura Coffman
Hunter’s legacy lives on

Laura and Atom Coffman from Maple Valley started a nonprofit in honor of their son who passed away last year to cancer.

I can always grow blackberries

Blackberries are considered an invasive species in United States, because they are… Continue reading

Lake Wilderness Easter Egg Hunt

The egg hunt took place on Saturday, April 20.

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch at the Field House

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading