Some of the best moments of my life were spent up in a tree. Enjoying the cool breezes, taking in the sites. Boy oh boy. It was the best. That is the life. Hey there my name is Sam and I am a semi-retired tree climber. Six months retired to be exact. And boy do I miss it. Working hard, being in the great outdoors, caring and preserving nature’s bounties. Hands down it was the best job a guy could ask for.
I got started real young as a tree climber. My daddy had a tree service business. My sisters and I loved strapping in those old harnesses and grabbing the ropes and taking to the back yard to climb the trees. We would spend hours up in those trees talking, laughing, or just watching the sky. As we got older, we became more and more involved in the family tree service business and learned how to use the pro equipment as well.
My eldest sister attended business school at the local community college, my other sister received her degree in botany, and my younger sister is a certified arborist with her degree in arboriculture and urban forestry. But I’ve always enjoyed the climbed. We all integrated ourselves into the business and it blossomed and flourished under our different areas of expertise. That soon after my youngest sister graduated and started working full time with us, our father was able to semi retire. Enjoying the role as a consultant which freed up his time, allowing him spend more time with mama; which she loved.
Under the encouragement of my sisters I became certified as a tree climber by ISA. I would train our guys in safe aerial procedures, first aid, and CPR. Even though I was technically an owner I still strapped on my harness, grab my helmet, and climbed along with my guys. I didn’t care about what I was doing, pruning, cabling, or removing the tree. I would take any excuse to get up in a tree. As I got older and the climb became more difficult I took a more managerial role and supervise our crew of guys while we worked various contracted jobs. I eventually return to school to complete a degree in horticulture. With our various degrees and experience my sisters and I expanded the business and opened up a nursery.
Eventually we taught our children the business and encourage them to get involved. Now my son and two out of my seven nieces run the business. Allowing my sisters and I take, our time, in partial retirement. We still remain on as consultants, but in actuality those kids are better at running our daddy’s tree service business then we were. And we were great at it!
But every once in a while, when my back was feeling decent and my knees didn’t hurt, I would grab my harness, lucky helmet, and rope and climb one of the trees in my backyard. Just so I can feel the sun on my face, then wind in my hair, marvel at the greatness of the sky and listen to the whisper of leaves rustling in the wind. I could sit in that tree all day long counting my blessings. I worked in job that I loved, every day I went out and made an honest living, I provided for my family, and we all were able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Now I can spend time enjoying the company of my wife, our grandchildren, and every once in a while the feel of a good climb.