Where’s the tree?

Two weeks ago Thursday, a sudden storm whipped through our neighborhood and tore off the top of our (at least) sixty-year-old maple that centered our backyard.

That shaded the children’s play.

That cradled our picnic blanket where many, many sandwiches and baby carrots were consumed through the years.

That cooled the yard so I could lay in the hammock with my babies when they were small and I was sick.

That lifted the swing into the air as we laughed and laughed, months and years later, when they were big enough to push the swing and I was well.

That I thought my children would grow up with, anchored by, and escape to when they needed time alone as they grew up.

But instead, the storm topped it, and the top third of the tree landed twenty feet away, facing the opposite direction.  The yard was littered with branches, and the sky — well, we could see the sky, through the giant gaps where the top branches once spread their leafy boughs.  The tree men walked away from our house that night exhausted, but with a big check, because the old maple was not only topped, but rotten inside, and we were very lucky that the tree hadn’t landed twenty feet in the other direction, on our house.

The tree guys had just spent the morning pulling a big old oak off a little girl’s bedroom, and although we were so sad about losing our tree, ohmygoodness, are we happy indeed that we all escaped without injury (and that the little girl was okay too).   

All of us walked away happy — the kids because they got to watch the tree men work from the window (yay!), my husband and I because we were all safe (and we’ll get to plant our garden again now that the sun’s rays will warm the ground), and the tree men because they got a bit of work in and made the right recommendation as well.  All of us were happy — that is, except the squirrels.

A black squirrel walked up to the french doors yesterday, hopped up on the step, and put his little paw on the door, and looked right at him.  He cocked his head, and my husband swears he could almost hear the squirrel say, “Where’s the tree?  What happened to my tree?”

This guy seems similarly confused:

Where's the tree?He sat there for the longest time, trying to fathom what had happened, trying to adjust to the change.

Day 3, Chemo 2010: I’m okay.  No vomiting still.  No sores yet on my hands or feet.  My gut is a bit wrecked today, but that could have been last night’s pizza.  (Shh.  Don’t tell my lymphedema therapist.  I’m supposed to be giving up breads and pasta, to reduce the inflammation in my arms and hand.)  I’m tired, but when am I not?  So far, so good!  YAY!

5 Responses to Where’s the tree?

  1. Stimey says:

    I can’t believe that tree is gone. Won’t somebody think of the squirrels?!?!

    Also, I’m really, really glad it didn’t land on your house.

    I’m weirdly sad. That was a good tree.

    Fingers crossed that things stay good with you!!!

  2. Kate @ upsidebackwards says:

    Awww, poor squirrels! We don’t have squirrels here, so they are story-book creatures to us. (You should hear me squeeeee! if I ever see a chipmunk, on my visits to the US!).
    Hooray for “so far so good”! Long may it continue. (And I hope the pizza was good too!)

  3. Stacey says:

    We lost a 100+ year old oak after a big storm over 10 years ago. It could have fallen on our house but chose to smash the 3 cars in our neighbor’s driveway instead!

    I still miss htat tree but a maple we planted in its place is just starting to branch out and look big.

    Your kids may enjoy the picture book Hurricane by David Wiesner – it’s a lovely story about the relationship two little boys have with a downed tree in their yard.

    I’m glad you are feeling (mostly) well. much love, s

  4. That was such a beautiful tree but thank goodness your house and the play structure with wifi was left in tact! Perhaps a squirrel home can be built near the stump for your poor confused little friends!

  5. elesha says:

    That was such a nice piece to read I must say you really have a way with words. I have always wished I had a big tree for all the reasons you just said. Even though that tree is gone you still look like you have a beautiful almost forest like background there how pretty to have that in you back yard.
    Lets pray this chemo keeps behaving and kicking butt simultaneously.
    Elesha

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