Monday, March 1, 2010

How Many Trees Must Die?

Bring up "The Ice Storm" to anyone who lives in this area and they immediately know what you mean. In December, 2008 we were hit with an unbelievable ice storm which left a clear coating on every surface, thick and heavy. The damage from this storm was extensive, with some people going as long as two weeks before having their power restored.

In that storm, I lost a nearly quarter-century old tree in my front yard, split in half from the weight of the ice. It looked like a giant had cleaved it with an axe. Half the tree fell in one direction and half in the other. This was a full-grown, mature, healthy hardwood tree that simply couldn't stand up to the punishment it had received from mother nature.

It was disappointing to lose the tree, especially since without it, an entire section of my front yard now looked like the fourth fairway at your local municipal golf links. I coped with the loss by telling myself it was just horrible bad luck - sort of like the reasoning used by Robin Williams when he buys a house immediately after an airplane crashes into its' roof in The World According to Garp. His logic is unassailable: What are the odds against an airplane crashing into the house again?

Apparently the odds aren't as long as you might think. This past Thursday we were hit with a different type of storm, one with extremely high, swirling winds of hurricane force. You probably know what's coming next. Another tree was destroyed, in much the same manner!

This tree was located right next to my house, and about a third of it came crashing down, somehow missing my house when it could just as easily have smashed through the roof. It passed so close to the house, however, that it ripped a portion of the gutter away from the roof as it was falling and came to rest directly across my front stoop, blocking the front door. Incredible.

Even worse than that, the entire tree is a lost cause. It's been split down the middle just like the one last year and if we get more high winds or a very heavy, wet snow, the rest of the tree will undoubtedly fall. I'm going to have to hire someone to come and remove it before that happens, obviously.

At this rate, I figure by about 2013 my front yard will be totally barren. It's going to look like a moonscape. I'm considering making the whole thing into a miniature golf course, but I'm not sure how my wife will react to that. The whole thing is very strange.

I wonder if Robin Williams is in the market for a house?

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