Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tree down, angry neighbor, angrier arborist

I could not wait to get home and see how the yard looked with the tree down and the front trees trimmed. I had a special sweet secret all day that gave me happiness and that was it. I was saving my joy about Prague for the next day.

Taking that tree down was the culmination of years of staring out the window, hating that tree, living in fear that a branch would fall off into the neighbor's yard and cause injury to one of the screaming children who run around the yard.

It looked fantastic. The trees in front trimmed looked regal instead of sad and droopy, half dead and waiting for the final lightening strike. And the yard looked strange, open, you can see the wires above the track more clearly, but I liked it. I was glad to see it gone. I called the Third Generation Arborist to let him know how totally happy I was. Okay, there were a few thorns next to the rose of my happiness: one of my rose bushes had been taken out and put back and looked positively shocked about the experience. Same with an ancient orange blossom bush but still I was happy.

I ran out around 8:45 to get some quart baggies for my trip to Prague. When I came back my neighbor Nancy came out and I said, "isn't it great?" and she said, yeah, but what's not great is what they did to my yard.

Uh Oh.

"They jumped the fence I didn't even know they were coming they scratched my fence and when they dragged the limbs out it dragged out all the gravel from my driveway and it was all over the sidewalk and I've swept and Bill said you know what's going to happen Nancy when I mow I'm going to hit a rock and it could kill one of the kids and they moved the edging from my pond I asked Bill did you move the edging no I didn't he said and you should see the saw dust all over everything I hope that you haven't paid them because Bill's a contractor and he wouldn't pay them he couldn't believe the way they left it and I'm sorry it's Not Your Fault and I know you're leaving tomorrow but I thought you should know and if you haven't paid them..."

She said that she had called him and she said he had told her, "you're barking up the wrong tree lady, pun intended." And that he had a real attitude.

I went inside and called the Third Generation Arborist.

He said that he had done an exceptional job and "between you and me she's overreacting. I'll come over now because I want to get that check."

It's 9:37. I have to pack people.

Highlights of our discussion:

Him: If you don't pay me tonight I will put a lein on your house and by next week we'll have the lawyers at it and it will drag on for months.

Me: I thought you did an excellent job and I just want to be able to get along with my neighbor.

Him: In 15 years no one has not paid me.

Me: I guess not if you keep threatening to put a lein on their houses.

Him: We did not jump the fence, those scratches were there and that edging on the pond was not moved by us.

Me: Here, take your money.

He wrote this out on a piece of paper and gave it to me: I, Third Generation Arborist, will return tomorrow morning between 7:45 and 8:15 and clean up the yard at XXX XXXX Avenue. Signed, Third Generation Arborist.

My trees look great.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Trees down

Right now the tree in my backyard is coming down. Timber! I feel so light and happy I've wanted that tree down for years. It's a random tree that grew from a seed that fell upon the ground, it wasn't planted with thought and desire for beauty or nourishment. It just grew.

It's blocked the light out of my vegetable garden and true, it's given shade to my neighbor because it's hanging over her yard but at the same time every time it thunders I think that the next shot of lightening will bring it down into her yard or maybe one day a branch will just fall when one of her kids is playing ball and tragedy and lawsuits will ensue.

I'm a little nervous about where the ants will be going.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My crash

A week ago Monday I almost got hit by a car. Then the car hit a pole and the pole almost fell on me. All week I've been thinking: I would have been dead now. My funeral would be over by now. The girls would have found my diaries by now. I wonder who would help them clean that house out.

I was walking down 15th Street and had just crossed Sansom. My happy little feet had just skipped up onto the curb when I heard behind me the screech and then slam of a car hitting another car. I thought, mhmm, an accident happened behind me. I turned to look and one car was pushing the SUV towards me. I scooted and kept scooting when the SUV hit a pole and then the pole started to fall over. I sort of ran but the whole time I felt foggy and disconnected, the way I have felt about my life in general lately. Then a crowd of people gathered around me asking if I was all right and saying that the sign had missed me by about an inch. "You better play the lottery sister" said one guy. A woman that I work with had been ahead of me by about ten yards and had turned and seen the whole thing and she was shaking and hugged me and we went on to work and all day I kept thinking, I wouldn't be at my computer. I wouldn't be calling Elizabeth or Alice or Carol or my mom. I would be dead dead dead. I'd like to say that I had an epiphany but I'm still sleepwalking a little.