The Old Man Gets His Notice


Dating back to the time when we moved into our house, just a few years ago, everyone who knows anything about trees has noticed the same thing.  "That tree is dying.  It needs to come down."

Sweet Husband always raises an eyebrow at me and shakes his head, knowing exactly what my response will be.  

"But I love that tree,"  I protest.  "And all the animals that live in it are so much fun to watch."  We've had squirrels, birds, and even--one snowy winter--a raccoon.  

"But if it falls, it's going to be in our bedroom," Sweet Husband notes.

And then we change the subject.

I'll openly admit that I'm overly sentimental about trees.

Ours don't have names to me, so much as they have personalities.  The Twins are two big silver maples that form a gateway into our backyard.  The Little Guy is a younger tree that annoys me by constantly putting out low branches that have to be clipped.  The Viney Lady is the one all the way to the right in the picture above, so named because she was covered in bittersweet when we first moved in.  

And then there's The Old Man in the front yard.  Ancient and half dead, he nonetheless provides a grace to the place that only an old tree can.  Or rather, he did.  Until this morning. 

We came home Friday night to a city notice on the door.  Removal.  Dead tree.  Damaged beyond repair.

I couldn't argue with that.  The city was right, just as Sweet Husband has been for these past few years.

Sweet Husband asked them to leave the stump so that we could plant it with flowers, but apparently that was not within the rules.  So we're thinking of putting some sort of fun sculpture there or planting a new, smaller tree.

I'm sure the squirrels will find another place to live, and it's not as if they're endangered, in any event.  Still, my heart's a little melancholy this evening as I look out at the tree-sized hole.