Monday, January 08, 2018

September 23, 2017, Saturday

On Wednesday, when we were out in the eye of the storm, we found that a tree had fallen, landing partially on the roof of the house, partially on Elaine's car. Most of the weight of the tree was on the house but the car was wedged in tight, pinned under the tree.

I had an elegant First World solution to the problem - get a crane, lift the tree clear, drive the car out. What I needed was a Third World solution. Okay, a Second World, because I have a chainsaw.

I spent more than an hour cutting all the non-weight bearing limbs, the stuff that was just adding weight. All that was left was what was actually supporting the tree.

I talked with the neighbor across the street, also John, who is kind of a neighborhood handyman who used to landscaping and tree work,. We'd come up with several possibilities for moving the tree and then moving the car. We settled on this:

I brought a 4" x4" post from the house. John had a small but servicable car jack. We wedged the 4" x 4" in a crook of the tree, put the other end of the 4" x 4" on the jack and started to raise the jack.
Not enough height. So we stacked wood blocks under the jack. Another try, the whole time watching the roof, the jack, the jam point on the car. Still not enough so more blocks. We told Elaine to get n the car and start it.

Finally, slowly, slowly the tree raised off the car.

Even though the tree was off the car, she coouldn't back straight out. We couldn't raise the tree high enough to completely clear the car. So - turn the wheels left and pull forward two inches. Turn the whells right and back up an inch or so. Forward, back left, right, inches at a time until she could back the car free. We slowly let the jack down and removed the 4" x 4" . Job done, car free, no more damage to car or house, most importantly no injuries. And that was that.

Before we freed the car, we started the morning with a dead battery in the truck. Stupid me rolled up the windows and left the keys in the ingnition "on."

I tried pulling the battery from Elaine's car to jump it but that didn't work. John, the same neighborhood handyman, helped me get it started in a way I've never seen. Rather than jumping it form his truck, we pulled my battery. He started his truck, pulled his battery and connected my battery. After about 10 minutes, I had a battery charged enough to start my truck. We switched batteries back and that was that!

I may be silly but I didn't know a vehicle would run without the battery in place. Learn something new every day (I hope.)

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