our bench story

Last winter, after several years of drought, we got hammered with precipitation – and as a result, many trees came crashing down around town. So when a gigantic tree in my neighbor’s yard began to split at the top, they had it taken down.

We were impressed at how massive this beauty was, and although it was very sad to see the stately tree come down, I wanted a piece of it in the worst way.

Photo Nov 30, 4 29 14 PM
Stephen (age 12) posing with the 130-year old tree in front of my neighbor’s house

I connected with the truck driver in charge of hauling the large chunks away, unfortunately, after he’d removed the largest one. It was already on its way to the dump to be reduced to chips.

The driver didn’t have time to hear where I wanted him to put a big chunk in my yard, so we agreed to talk later. In the meantime, I called my daughter, Avian, to ask her opinion.

“Well, Mom, you always get things and then have to pay someone to take them away. Not to be rude…”

She was right. I didn’t need a big chunk of tree in my yard. It wasn’t that big anyways. I made up my mind. But then, she called me back.

MOM! He just dropped the tree in our yard with a crane and then drove away!

I called my brother, who happens to be a smokejumper and skilled with a saw (and he was coming to town for the holidays), and told him I had a big log situation.

“Think you could bring your biggest chainsaw, and make a bench or something?”


Photo Dec 29, 12 18 50 PM (1)
The name does not lie.

On Friday morning, December 29, Marcel (aka Celly) sharpened up his chain saw, with a 28-inch bar (aka Bad A$$ Mother F#$%er), and we stood around the log.

“Do you want a sparkling water, Celly?” I asked him as he began.

“If “sparkling water”, is code for “beer”, then yes.”

Photo Dec 29, 12 14 43 PM
Celly cutting out the seats

A small crowd gathered to watch as Celly carved into the big tree. Our friend JP helped with the larger pieces, running out to get more tools (wedges and bars, to pry out the sections), and more fuel after Celly used up the 2 1/2 tanks he brought with him.

Photo Dec 29, 12 36 35 PM
first seat complete
Photo Dec 29, 1 20 17 PM
second seat in progress
Photo Dec 29, 1 22 35 PM
JP and Celly removing one of the big pieces
Photo Dec 29, 1 10 20 PM
cutting out sections of the 2nd seat.
Photo Dec 29, 1 24 27 PM
cutting out the beer bottle holder in between seat 1 and seat 2
Photo Dec 29, 1 53 13 PM
bottle holder ready.

Celly made a chair out of one of the biggest chunks that fell, and carved “Chez Potvin” (the house of Potvin) and the year I bought the house into the side of the tree (MMXII).

Photo Dec 29, 2 03 47 PM

It was the best Christmas present ever.

Photo Dec 29, 2 13 24 PM
Celly, Nelly (me), Netty, and my dad, Buckshot.

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