One of my pet peeves is solicitors. And to deter the solicitors I have a sign on the door that says "no soliciting". It would say much more than that but Morgan would probably roll his eyes and take the sign down. The sign does a pretty good job. So long as the person knows what soliciting is. Lots of children don't so we get the kids in the neighborhood selling whatever the school fundraiser is. (Which is another post altogether.) The kind of solicitor we get in the neighborhood the most are the tree maintenance companies. They don't ring our doorbell because of the sign. But if I am outside they will get me. Such was the case yesterday. Our neighborhood is filled with huge old trees so I'm sure it's a great place for prospecting. Our yard is probably a bonus as we have two huge trees in our yard that are in desperate need of some trimming. Because of this I always let them look at the trees and tell me what they think and give me an estimate. One of the trees is an Ash and has a lot of dead wood and we knew that at some point it would need to be taken down so I always ask what it would cost to remove it, and I've gotten some really outrageous estimates.
Two days ago there was a guy in the neighborhood drumming up business. He hit up the neighbors across the street which is when I noticed him. At that point I had drawn the shades so I could pretend I wasn't home if the sign didn't deter him. Yesterday the same company was back in the neighborhood to work on the neighbors' trees and while we were leaving to go to Owen's ECFE class they got me. One of the guys approached me as I was backing out of the drive, very polite, gave me their card and said I could call if I'd like an estimate. Of course the moment I got home they were back! So being that I like to hear the trees guys ridiculous quotes I told them to come back in a bit after I got some lunch ready for O.
Back they came to look at the trees and give me an estimate. Surprisingly it was reasonable (in comparison to the other quotes I'd had) and I told the guy I'd talk to Morgan and I'd let him know. We decided to have them take down the Ash tree and trim up the Maple. A few minutes later they got to work. I was thrilled that this was finally going to be taken care of.
Owen was very excited that there was going to be some excitement in the yard and he was thrilled at the prospect of new sticks for his collection. It was a nice enough day that we took our lunch out on the step and watched the climber go to work. I'm sure he appreciated the audience!
After he had trimmed off a lot of the dead wood and was way up high in the tree I realized just how big the tree was. And just how much wood was going to be left behind for us to deal with. (We opted to keep the wood as it was cheaper than having them haul it away and since we have 2 fireplaces and fire pit we thought we could use it). Owen and I went back inside to watch from the safety of the living room. Where O determined he could not see the guy, which was unacceptable, and went back out to the breezeway. He spent the better part of the afternoon watching out the windows and make "compost" in the breezeway. (Also another post!)
While I was getting dinner ready (they had been at the tree of 3 hours now) there was a loud boom and O yelled "MAMA! Come see this!!!" I joined him at the picture window where I saw the tree down in the yard. I hadn't realized they were at that point in the process and I had missed it. Which kind of made me sad.
I think the sadness had actually been brewing while the whole thing unfolded in the yard. First, I had a bit of buyers remorse set in. I don't easily part with large sums of money and paired with having made the decision so quickly, I started to feel sick. Morgan and I hadn't spent a month discussing the decision, which we often do with large expenditures, and then if it's not an emergency or a necessity we usually put it off. Which we would most likely have done with this if we'd given it more time and consideration. Morgan has a price limit on most things, $20 to be exact, and if something exceeds his limit it's not worth it.
(The tree shortly after it came down)
After this point I started to feel uneasy and sick. And I wasn't quite sure why. Was it the parting with money? Or just the tree? I felt like what we were spending was reasonable. And the tree was going to need to come down at some point. It had a lot of dead wood and we'd already had some branches come down during storms and it was forever dropping sticks and such. Not to mention it was a squirrel hotel. (Take that rat bastards!) But throughout the evening and night and even when I woke up the morning I felt sick about this. And I think far more than spending the money, it's the tree. I'm sad about the tree being gone. It was a huge tree. It was at least 70 years old. It had been here before our house was. It makes me sad that we cut it down. And I suppose it's rather silly that I'm sad about this tree, but I am. It makes me sad to see it lying all cut up in the yard destined for the fireplace or fire pit. Now it's just a stump. (My personification of this tree is probably sad too!)
I know the money will be replaced and the tree will be cleaned up and we can plant a new one if we'd like. Owen thinks that's a great idea. But for today, and maybe tomorrow, I'm going to be sad for the ash tree. (But not sad that the squirrels have to move!)