Photo: There is one less tree in the world today, and I’m sincerely sad.
I find that a lot of my conversations with my husband as of late are simply regarding logistics. We always need to be in two places at once. This weekend was full of that. I’m sure some of you Dear Readers can relate.
Our weekend was already overbooked with Boy Scouts, church, knitting activities (that’s a legitimate thing. Don’t raise an eyebrow at that!), and homework I need to do for the town committee I’m currently sitting on. Groceries were squeezed into that, too, which meant me not getting to sleep in on Saturday. The Husband and I had a plan for it all, and when I woke up on Thursday morning, I was already executing on it.
Then my neighbor called me on Thursday afternoon.
“So, there was a guy in a safety vest walking around the front of your house this morning. Then he ventured to the back of the house, and it didn’t look like you were home, and I was like, whoa, so I got my jacket to get out there and see what the hell he was doing…”
When I write on Fridays about love and blessings, the known and unknown, the asked for and the unasked for, I’m writing about people like my neighbor. I’m so incredibly lucky to have a neighbor who cares that much about us, and you can’t choose your neighbors. God just knew we needed good ones for our survival here, I guess. You have no idea how much gratitude I have for this huge gift.
Anyway, the guy he confronted works for the company that maintains the railroad that abuts our property. They are doing tree maintenance for safety along the tracks.
“They are basically going to clear-cut all of the trees behind your house. Especially the big one back there. He says it’s dead and is actually threatening your house. I looked at it and he’s right… have you given that thing a good look?”
That was all shocking news. The clear-cutting, the dying tree… no, I haven’t given it a good look. I’ve been attending to other things!
Of course, but not the worse of it. “Here’s the kicker: he said they’ll be here first thing on Saturday morning.”
Lordy. Welp, I was planning to be up anyway.
There are two old trees behind the house and they haven’t been totally healthy, but we didn’t believe them to be totally dead. One is on my side of the property line and the other is on their side. My biggest sadness was for the skinny, but very healthy, other trees that were under threat of being cut down for no reason. Besides losing all of my privacy behind the house, it just felt so very wasteful. Is there nothing sacred anymore? Didn’t anybody pay attention to Captain Planet? We need trees, ya’ll! They do stuff!
I talked it over with The Husband. We decided that we’d give them permission to get access via our property if they also helped us trim off the dead branch of another tree posing what we think to be a more imminent threat to the house. The Husband thought that was a great idea. I reminded him on Friday night because I was going to get up for the Wegmans run at 6 and wouldn’t be able to be there. “I got it,” my husband said.
You know what happened, right?
“What did the guy say? Are they going to take the other tree, too?”
My Husband: “What other tree?”
“Baby, the tree with the dead branch!”
He did one of those, “Oh, I didn’t think that’s what we were talking about” things that men do… He has learned that New England skill of never admitting fault or apologizing for anything. I could have killed him. He screwed up the coffee that morning, too, which is an almost worse offense. There are mornings in marriage when you have to do a little work and find some grace. I didn’t kill him. I seethed and kept it moving.
He did his best yesterday morning to make up for the goof, but we lost our leverage. They brought in a crane, told The Husband they’d take the other tree “if they had time,” because the other tree was “pretty complicated” but “they’ll do an assessment.” Of course, they did the job they were originally slated to do, didn’t even bother to look at the other tree, and left without even thinking of looking back.
I’m sincerely sad to see it gone. I believe that trees are wonderful things. But, as you can see:
While the outer layers gave no indication to my untrained eye, the core of the tree was dead or dying, from the root all the way up to the upper part of the trunk. As they took the larger pieces away, you could see the death in the cross sections. It was, as they said, a threat to the house and the railroad below.
I would not have known until one of the massive branches fell through the roof.
I guess somebody was lookin’ out for us on this one. 🙂
Even though they didn’t take the tree that is on our side of the property line, they chose to spare the other, younger, skinnier trees that really aren’t hurting anyone. I get to keep some of my privacy, which is nice, though there is still a sizable gap now. We have a practical problem of how we are going to address this. My neighbor is suggesting we purchase a bunch of quick growing evergreens to make a plant-fence. My neighbor has more disposable income than I do. We’ll see… Spring is still sometime away.
In the meantime, the boys already want to know what we’re going to do with the stump. It does present a nifty opportunity, doesn’t it? Perhaps we could fill it with dirt and make it the ultimate fairy garden this summer? I don’t know. Anyone have any good ideas out there?
It is Monday, Dear Reader. There are undone things from last week waiting to be addressed. There are things to be done this week that will be so satisfying to accomplish. Be grateful for the opportunity, breathe into the challenges, and then let’s get to work. I can’t wait to learn about all of your victories this week!
Until Wednesday, take care.