Things that go “thump!” in the night


Technically, 5:20 a.m. isn’t night.  But it’s dark enough for a six-year-old to ask his mom, “When is the sun going to let us know it’s morning?”  And it’s morning enough for John to be getting out of the shower.  But it’s dark enough for me to still be completely comatose.

“Craaaaaack!  Whump!”

That was no squirrel cavorting in the attic.  Something big landed somewhere.  John heads off for his men’s Bible study but returns later to  search the property.  House–check.  Bees–check.   But his parents inform him that the ”whump” was at their place next door to us.  A huge part of a tree fell, fortunately onto an empty parking area.

Alas, poor tree.  Great-great-grandad Maynard said that the tree was a seedling during George Washington’s days.  For years it proudly bore the sign that announced that it belonged to a tree farm.  A beautiful tree, arching in three grand sections,  one section had died and had been cut off.  The whole tree should have gone, but sentiment prevailed and now a second chunk has fallen.  The remaining tree is completely lacking its former grandeur and dignity and will need to be felled.

John and his sawmill

John’s sawmill has  been busy lately.  A friend from church lost a big tree which  has now been cut into usable boards.  The George Washington tree will be next.  And after that?  Well, there are more trees that need to come down.

There are two trees on the west side of our house that should have been felled when we dug the foundation for the house.  About two weeks ago, a big chunk fell from one of them onto the roof of the screened porch.

“Craaaaaak!  Whump!  Thunk!”  It bounced off the roof and thumped into the hydrangeas.  It scared the beezeebies out of me, as I had just left that porch to come inside when the branch fell.

The trees have to go–even if we have to pay someone to take them down.  That, dear readers, is a wife throwing down the gauntlet to her husband:  take down the tree or I will spend money to get someone else to take down the tree!  Fortunately, dear husband is on the same page and has three additional trees on his radar for removal.  If they aren’t a danger for dropping branches, they are a nuisance in facilitating squirrel access to the attic.

Most people don’t want to be “typical.”  Amercians, at least, think they are too individualistic to be “typical.”  Especially Americans who go for the rustic, in-the-woods-log-cabin lifestyle.  But you know what’s typical for people who build houses on wooded lots?  They want to preserve all the trees.  Every last daggone tree.  But then, after a few years in their wood-surrounded house, they get tired of squirrels jumping onto their roofs and mold growing on the house and grass not growing.  They start to appreciate things like solar heat and the ability to grow house plants.  And then some trees have to go.

I walked around the house today staring up at the trees that need to go.   There’s a lot of sunlight behind them.  I’m thinking this former beach girl stands half of chance of catching some rays.  Once the sun comes up, of course.

Kathy Harp – visit her personal blog Maywood Living.

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