My girlfriends and I were talking about the arrival of spring. They were saying their thoughts turn to sunshine and warm breezes, the sounds of birds chirping, the scent of spring flowers…
“And Luke.” I sighed.
They all perked up.
“Luke? Who’s Luke?”
Damn, did I say that out loud?
And so I was caught, and pretty much obligated to tell them the story of Luke…
One of the deciding factors when purchasing our home, were the ten maple trees in our backyard. It truly was a sight to see each fall. The bright orange and red foliage was magnificent. At least that’s what I told myself as we raked and bagged over one hundred bags of leaves and dragged them to the curb.
“I love the trees, I love the trees…”
Over the years though the branches filled in and began to form a canopy over our entire yard. My husband loved it, reminding him of the cottage where he grew up. All it meant to me though was the house shrouded in darkness each spring.
I was not a happy camper; I need sunlight and I told my husband, either we take down some trees or look for a new house. He finally agreed to have the trees ‘trimmed’ and called in a tree guy.
Enter Luke. He arrived mid-morning on a warm sunny day; tanned and fit wearing ripped jeans and a t-shirt, the sleeves straining at the bulge of his muscles. I watched from the window as he harnessed up, threw a rope over a branch and hoisted himself sixty feet in the air. He had a crew of two others who stood back taking directions, removing the branches as they fell.
It was incredible to watch. He moved higher and higher into the branches and then swung down with ease, his chainsaw in one hand. It was awesome to see! It was like watching Tarzan.
Barely able to tear myself from the window I went to answer the phone, a moment later there was a knock at the door. It was Luke. His big brown eyes beamed, his teeth glowed against his tanned skin. He spoke slowly.
“Sorry to interrupt you ma’am. Do you think you could give me a glass of water? It’s really hot.”
I felt my face go red and bit my lip to keep from laughing. This scene was straight out of a movie. I wanted to reply “I’ll get you water and anything else you want,” as I watched a bead of sweat run down his face and drop on his over-sized shoulder.
I watched him down the glass of water and wipe his mouth with the back of his hand. I felt weak in the knees as he handed the glass back.
He returned to the yard and I resumed my place at the window.
My husband arrived home from work and asked how it was going in the yard.
“I’ve been busy,” I replied, haven’t really noticed.”
He looked out the window and watched as Luke swung from branch to branch.
“Muscular, eh?” my husband commented.
“You think?” I replied, grinning from ear to ear.
Two years later my house was dark once again. At my insistence, my husband called Luke back for another quote on tree trimming.
The three of us stood in the yard as Luke pointed to the branches he’d remove. He gave us the price and I gasped. He said “I know it seems expensive ma’am but it’s a risky job. I might make it look easy, but it’s pretty dangerous with those hydro wires.”
“You… I mean it…certainly is dangerous,” I replied. “And you do make it look easy.” “Let’s just do it!” We arranged a date for him to do the job.
I told my husband I could sell tickets to all of the neighbourhood women and my girlfriends to offset the price. He rolled his eyes, perhaps he’d realizing why I only wanted the trees trimmed this time and not removed, it meant Luke would be coming back.
The day of the tree trimming was fast approaching. I crammed all the work I could into the beginning of the week so I’d have the day free to watch him again.
This time I was bold and took him and his men some water, anything to help.