Lumbering and a technique I never tried before are tonight’s topics. For the past two days, I’ve been to the secluded estate where we have an empty sheepcote, many plum trees, and other fruitless trees. There’s one type of tree we call Sour Tree, which I learned is also known as the Tree Of Heaven; it originated from Taiwan, brought to Europe by the French. This tree has a long stem with fishbone leaves growing from the branches. These leaves are easy to pick by clenching a fist and dragging it to the top, leaving the stem clean and a handful of leaves in the fist. It’s something I, as a kid, liked to do playfully, but I always regretted it because the smell these leaves leave is so pungent and repulsive that I can’t compare it to anything. So, these smelly trees grew tall and wide around the walled remnants of an old house where my father was born. This is where my family used to live, and when my father grew up to military age and came back from the Yugoslav People’s Army, he began building a new house near the center of the village. The whole community from that part of the village migrated to the north, closer to the main road and the river, conveniently, close to the school, church, convenient stores, the warehouse, and finally, closer to the civilization. But lets’ get back to that cutting part. So, yesterday we came to one of the trees that leaned toward the short wall, but the wind pulled it backward, making it hard to drop. A chainsaw makes a narrow cutting path in the trunk where a shift in the tree can pinch it and hold it steady. And that’s the worst nightmare for a lumberjack because you can’t retrieve your primary tool. So, we had to invent a way to pull the chainsaw intact and bring the tree down. A daring and dangerous option is to get back the tractor and use all of the chains we have, set a noose on the treetop, and connect everything to the tractor, use the machine to pull the damn thing in the proper direction to widen the chainsaw cutting gap enough to lose the blade and take the chainsaw out. My grandfather drove the tractor, and my father hooked everything. Then my grandad slowly made tension on the chain. I was to pull the chainsaw out and scream “Clear!” if I spotted a dangerous lean toward one of them. I’ve never seen people do this, and this massive tree could bring plenty of hurts if anything went wrong. My father and grandfather weren’t scared at all, insinuating this was not the first time they had done something like this, probably with twice as big and twice as tall trees. I found some comfort in that, believing they know more than me and have enough experience with lumbering to take safety measures. I’ve seen people on YouTube using lots of contraptions, lever lifts, and spikes to dislodge the chainsaws, create wide gaps and remove the possibility of pinching, but we don’t have that thing at hand. This was a suitable option, a sound technique to bring down trees. And it worked. That surprised me the most. Grandfather kept pulling the tree, my father was cutting it exactly where he previously intended, and I waited for it to start learning more and more with my hands up, ready to signal them to move to safety. This massive bastard broke and tore every branch of the trees around it, cracking and snapping as it hit the ground with a thunderous thud. The amount of adrenaline rushing through me at that moment… I can’t put it on the chart for you to understand. That tree alone came up to five cubic meters, and one meter of lumber cost 3500 RSD/30 EUR before the Ukrainian crisis, but today, one cubic meter is 8000 RSD/68 EUR, meaning that within a few hours of cutting and chopping it into firewood, if we were to sell it, we could make 340 euros, and that’s a lot of money from that one tree.