a peaceful morning in the pines
Until last week, our home used to be nestled among lots of tall Georgia pine trees. The trees were a gift to me from my father-in-law, over twenty years ago. He decided to let his cow pasture (located next-door to our former house) grow up in volunteer pine trees, after I became upset while he was having his timber cut down. Little did any of us know that, one day, Ed and I would build a new home among those volunteer pines.
When we built the first part of our new house, those volunteer pines were still relatively small. We liked living among the trees, it gave us the illusion of being in the mountains. The years flew by, and before we knew it, many of our trees had become very tall (about 65 feet), and many had begun leaning in toward our home. A new reality began to set in.
Whenever the wind blew hard, the tops of the pine trees would bang together, and it was quite scary! Limbs and pine straw were constantly falling on the ground, and pine tar was usually everywhere. It didn’t help knowing that, several years ago, Ed’s aunt was actually struck and killed by a falling pine limb!
after last summer’s storm
Last summer, we received quite a scare when, during a storm, three of those pines came tumbling down! All three falling trees brushed either our house or Ed’s storage house, but fortunately, the damage was minimal. Ed and I decided, as soon as we were financially able, most of the trees had to go! The day finally came.
Early last week, Ed contacted a local tree trimmer that I’d read about in the weekly newspaper, when his wife was featured as ‘cook of the week’. Tim came out to the house the same day Ed called him. He gave us what we considered to be an excellent estimate, and we made a deal to have twenty-seven trees cut. Within two days (on Friday), Tim and his crew were at our house ready to begin cutting our trees. Rain had actually missed us for two days, so they decided to go for it! Little did any of us know that we’d get a flash flood over the weekend!
That Friday morning, I went outside and took some photographs before the men arrived. It was cool and quiet, and for a moment, I actually had second thoughts about letting the trees go…
just a few of our pines before they were cut
All day, on Friday, I watched as the men began cutting our pine trees. We’d contracted to have twenty-seven pines cut, but by noon, on Saturday, the number to be cut had nearly doubled. Cutting some trees, exposed other diseased or faulty trees, and some trees were just in the way of getting other trees removed. Twenty-seven trees quickly turned into forty-something. I watched as most of our lawn soon became non-existent, thanks to the heavy machinery traveling back and forth over it.
Ed and I had mixed feelings about having the trees cut. We really hated to see them go, but, at the same time, we knew it was for the best. I’d spent several sleepless nights during wind storms, after those three trees fell so close to our house. Still it was hard…
After the first day of cutting, I counted the rings on one of the larger stumps remaining in the yard. It had eighteen rings, one for each year of its life. One tree, located over beside our carport, was even larger, so I’m guessing it was even older. I didn’t get a chance to count its rings before the stump was ground up.
You know, life is funny sometimes. Little did Ed and I know, twenty-two years ago, when my father-in-law gave us the gift of trees, we’d eventually have to pay to have most of them cut down. It’s sort of ironic, don’t you think? (to be continued…)