Today, we are losing an old and dear friend at our house. Our very large, very old oak tree is on the verge of coming down due to an enormous crack in its base. So, after consideration, we have decided to give her a hand down, rather than risk her falling on our next door neighbor’s house, or on the street. We’ve been mulling it over for quite a while now, but she’s weighted on either side by heavy branches, while the center of the tree is bare. It’s just too dangerous to leave her standing, so down she comes.
Our best estimate is she is probably over a hundred years old. We even found an old drawaing of our street from before 1900, and there is a depiction of a tree right about where our old girl stands now. It’s hard to imagine a tree surviving that many years…all the baby birds it has fostered, all of the families of squirrels it has sheltered. There must be at least a half dozen squirrel drays in her branches. Needless to say, it is not going to be a happy day for the squirrels that have set up residence. Thank goodness for the other oak tree in front of my kitchen window. I’m sure I’ll be seeing three times as many of those fat little tree varmints lolling about on the branches ten feet from my kitchen sink. Bill feeds them, so they tend to be on the plump side. And when the weather is warm, they sprawl out with their paws hanging over the edges. I could be wrong, but I do believe the happiest squirrels on the planet reside at our house.
It’s always a little sad to see something so old, so stately, so timeless meet its demise. Now when I come out the front door every morning to leave for the office, all that will remain is a double stump. On the upside, no more bird shit on my car (an annual spring ritual when all the robins build their nests seemingly RIGHT over my poor convertible.
I’m glad I’m not home to witness the chainsaws whirring, and the bucket truck raised, cutting the limbs that interfere with the power lines. I’m sure there will be limbs all over my yard when I go home for lunch today. I’ll probably cry, and Bill will think I’m being such a girl.
I know it’s inevitable, but I will miss her so. Funny how even a tree can become part of the family.