Saturday, July 11, 2009

Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons

When we first visited the little town we now live in, we were charmed by the historic downtown area with it's lovely older buildings and brick sidewalks. The neighborhoods, however, were what really won us over. Each street was an eclectic mix of older clapboard sided homes and newer brick homes under canopies of towering mature trees.

After we moved here we developed a love/hate relationship with the trees. We loved the shade they provided in the summer, but we hated the endless leaves they dropped in the fall. We enjoyed watching the squirrels and birds playing on the branches, but we disliked cleaning up the sticks, twigs and small branches that dropped in the yard and the street every time a strong wind blew through them. In the end, we loved them more than we hated them because they were so beautiful and provided some privacy from the street.

On Monday afternoon, while the kids and I were in the house, we heard an odd ripping sound in the front yard. When we went outside to investigate, we found another large limb had fallen from the tree. It was so large, in fact, that it blocked the driveway and half of the street.

We had no means of moving it. I called the city to ask if they could send a crew to clear it out of the street. It took three men, two chainsaws and several hours to get the job done.

They were concerned that the tree might no longer be safe so they sent a "tree guy" (that's what they called him) to come and take a look. I was hoping it was an isolated case of rot that affected only the fallen limb, but the "tree guy" didn't think so. The whole 100+ year old tree would have to come down, as would another old tree on the other side of the front yard. I was sick at the thought.

The cutting crew showed up Tuesday afternoon and set about cutting the upper limbs from one tree.

By quitting time, the whole tree was gone and the stump had been ground down. Our lovely maple had been replaced by a pile of wood chips and debris.

The front yard looked like a war zone and I was pretty upset about it. When Mr. Willoughby came home, he had a different perspective on the whole ordeal. He was determined to turn our "lemons" into "lemonade". He grabbed the wheelbarrow and a shovel and started mulching the flower beds with the wood chips.
We have hundreds of feet of shrub line and flower beds and we've never had enough mulch for all of it. It was bare dirt before, it looks much more finished, now.

We also used a cut branch to make a new support for one of our bird houses.

It still makes me sad to look out and see the bare spots where the trees used to be.....

but I'm thankful that no one was hurt and nothing was damaged by the falling limb. It was a sunny day when the limb fell and there could easily have been children playing in the street or a car driving by. It's remarkable that neither were true that day. If my SUV had been parked a few feet back, it would have been crushed.
So if you were wondering why I hadn't posted anything this week, now you know. I was busy making "lemonade".

I did try to keep up with reading and commenting on all of my favorite blogs. If I missed a few, I apologize. My regular Friday Night Drink Demo will return next week.


Purple Flowers said...

So glad things worked out the way they did. You are the second person who has blogged about a tree coming down this past week. The mulch looks great and I love the bird house! Have a great weekend!! I believe in lemonade too.

Deidra said...

Isn't that just the strangest thing? Your tree and mine crashing down in the same week? I'm sorry you lost your trees, but glad you were able to look on the bright side. No injuries or damages...Bonus!

Lissaloo said...

What a hard thing, I'm glad you are feeling better about it. The flower beds and birdhouse look wonderful though :)

5thsister said...

Similar thing happened to a neighbor of mine. We live in a fairly new subdivision so the tree canopy is quite immature...except for this one tree. They estimated it to be about 200 years old. It got struck by lightening in a storm last year and since had died. We all cried the day it was removed. I'm glad your tree could live on in other garden projects.

Chicago Mom said...

It is always sad to see a great old tree have to be cut down, but I am so glad no one got hurt. The mulch was a great idea!

PurpleHoodieChick said...

I miss the tree's!!
I left you an award on my blog btw.=]

Joanna Jenkins said...

It's so sad when a lovely, old tree bites the dust. Fortunately it didn't land on anyone and all's well.
Hang in there.

Purple Flowers said...

Willou -
also lost a tree in her driveway. That is the 3rd incident in a week. Luckily, her daughter was already out of the car and in the house. I posted your address to her blog, and her address to your blog in case you want to share stories. I see Deidre has already told you about her tree incident. What is going on w/the trees?

Kwana said...

Way to make lemonaid! Purple flowers sent me over since I had a limb fall over the weekend. Something is in the air for sure.

ChristineM said...

So sad to see a tree cut down - we had to take down our big maple (aka "Mommy's Favorite Tree", according to my daughter!) and it took some getting used to. I still miss it...especially when the mid morning sun GLARES at me!