ExplorOz Backyard Blitz

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 11:36

Sir Kev

The EO Backyard Blitz concept came about when through off-line contact I found out that EO Member Toad keeper Jo was going through a tough patch. Her husband (Mark) is undergoing Dialysis 3 times a week and has a couple of catheters in place which restricts his physical activities when at home.
I had met Jo once when she offered to pick up something in Brisbane for me that I had bought through the EO Trader, in that 10 minute meeting I knew that they needed something to brighten their lives up. They are currently renovating their house and had hit rock bottom in regards to starting to landscape the back yard. They had been quoted a lot of $$$ to get 17 palm trees lopped and taken away and were not in a position to get it done any time soon.

In early January I called Member Mark G and told him what I was proposing, between us, we established a list of fellow EO members in the local area that we thought would lend Jo a hand. I began Member Messaging all on the list and received a great response.
The problem I faced was to make sure Jo was home for the intended weekend so I had told her I was going to come down and visit and cut the trees down myself. All the others were told not to make contact with her nor mention it on EO. It was all organised via Member Messages, emails and phone calls.

The 14 Feb was selected as the day of attack as it was one weekend that Jo actually had off work. I departed Calliope at 2:30am on the Saturday morning and had arranged for all the others to arrive at 9:00am. I rolled into Jo’s place at around 8- 8:30am and broke the news that she was going to be Blitzed by the EO crew ?

ExplorOz members who came along included –

• Mark G and family who travelled from near Grafton NSW,
• Vince B from near Tweed Heads,
John and Colette (OldPlodder) from Brisbane,
John and Adele (Mrbitchi) pretty much locals,
• Trevor R (King Toad) from Brisbane,
• Shane who tagged along with Vince.

The weather was not very kind with it raining sporadically but I think it was better working in the occasional rain rather than suffer from a hot sun filled day.

We had 5 trailers and 2 chainsaws to get 17 palm trees to cut down and remove as much as possible to the tip. The tip was open from when we started till 6pm and we were still going close to closing time.

The fun began with the removal of the palm tree at the front of the house.

The side of the house was very wet and boggy so our access plans went out the window and we ended up carrying everything to the front and loading the trailers on solid ground.

We ended up taking more than 22 trailer loads of green waste to the tip with an average net weight of around 800kg+

There was another tree in the back yard that we also attacked and removed for them as well, due to the clothes line being in shade for most of the morning and it being very over grown.

When I broke the news to Jo she was a bit panic stricken as she had only worried about food for 3 and not the dozen or so there. But I had already organised with Adele for her and John to provide the catering, Which they provided out of their own pocket. Colette also bought a home made cake for us to munch on as well.

The day was progressing well and when the energiser bunny (Trevor) arrived at about 2pm due to prior commitments, we gained an extra set of hands and additional trailer to finish the job off.
Mark G pulled up early as he was the main chainsaw operator and the constant bending paid havoc with his Truckie back, so he shot through early as he was struggling to stand.

All the palms that Jo and Mark wanted removed were felled and 90% of the green waste was removed for them.

I would like to thank all those who assisted in helping Jo and Mark out, without your assistance this would not have been possible. I know there are several EO members who were unable to attend due to other commitments. It just goes to show that ExplorOz does not just contain faceless people hiding behind an alias but caring down to earth people who do care about the special community that ExplorOz has created.

So to all the EO Members out there ....................be careful of what you wish for cause the ExplorOz Blitz team could be at your place on day soon hahahaha

Member Shane D, had a free day on the 28th of Feb so he headed over to Jo's and finished off the removal of the palm trees that we didn't get done. It is great to hear that Shane has done this and saved Jo trying to lift some of the heavy palm trunks that were left.
Thanks for your efforts Shane, I am sure Jo and Mark were grateful for your efforts as well.

Now that Jo has been told, I'll add another note here :)

Mark G had a little issue after the weekend and had to visit the Dr only to end up on the surgery table pretty quickly and spent the week in hospital recovering from surgery.

Next time Mark, do what I did and take it easy or Jo will visit you to babysit you hahahaha

Russell Coight:
He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.
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