Sunday, December 19, 2010


There are some seriously big ol' trees around town. And while I recognize that it's sometimes scary to have a big ol' tree looming over one's house — we've actually been in that situation and had to make the wrenchingly difficult decision of having a big ol' tree taken down before it fell down (on top of us) — it still gets me every time.

So, when I happened upon a traffic jam (relatively speaking) on Kay Street Friday morning, and I could see a crane looming overhead in the not-so-distant distance, I suspected the worst before turning around and driving the other way. At the end of the day, coming in the other direction on Kay, the crane was still at work, along with a few orange-clad men and several noisy pieces of equipment.

This was a seriously big ol' tree ... the kind whose absence changes the landscape (and skyscape) and you just know another will never re-grow in that spot in my or your or even our children's lifetimes.

And it reminded me in some strange backward way of the ritual chopping down of a Christmas tree, something Mr. Betty and I had done two weekends back under somewhat more joyous circumstances — despite flying solo, or duo, with no kids (or dog) in tow — at a farm across the bridges with several of its own noisy pieces of equipment, designed to make getting a tree in the house as easy and mess-free as possible.

So, why is it joyous?? Chopping down a tree?? So that it can stand, albeit decorated, and undergo the slow undeniable process of dying?? In the LIVING room?? It made me think twice about all those poor little less-than-shapely (thereby lucky) trees that never get tagged at the tree farm ...

And in the midst of that admittedly bah-humbug thought, as various on-lookers hung around watching the weathered-to-the-point-of-mushroomed tree disappearing segment by segment before our very eyes (it almost hurt) on Kay Street, and I was about to turn toward home feeling slightly shaky and wondering how in the world I was going to recover sufficiently to finish the chore (yes, it became a chore at some point) of decorating our own drying/dying tree, and that maybe in fact I'd delegate the job to Darling Daughter and Super Son who would both be home later that evening, I did a double-take upon noticing the name of the outfit who'd come to do the tree trimming (ahem, felling) honors ....