The Saga Of Our Tall Georgia Pines…

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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!

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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…

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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.

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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…)

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Published in: on July 30, 2013 at 7:19 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday’s Thoughts ~ Looking For A Silver Lining…

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I’m trying to smile and be positive, but lately, it’s becoming very hard!  I can’t help but feel as if a perpetual cloud has been hanging over our ‘neck of the woods’–literally and figuratively speaking!

Like so many others around us, we’ve been receiving daily rain showers for well over a month now.  To say our ground is thoroughly saturated would be an understatement!  To say we are living in a swamp would accurately describe our current living conditions.  The ground is so wet it has begun to smell like a swamp, and the mosquitoes are so thick outside, it feels like a swamp, too.  Insect repellent has become my new perfume!

Yesterday was a difficult day for our tree trimmers.  As they continued their work at the far end of our house, they discovered the land is much wetter there than they first realized.  Getting daily showers of rain hasn’t helped either!

The workers have taken down all but one tree (out of 47), but have discovered there is just no way to remove the debris right now!  The ground is simply too wet, and the tree sections are too heavy with sap.  The workers were stuck, literally and figuratively, as you’ll discover when you read on…

Among yesterday’s many mishaps with the tree trimmers, was a broken water line and a severed cable to our Dish Network satellite!  To say it was a bad day for all of us would be another understatement!  Both incidents happened while the men were attempting to grind a multitude of stumps on the front side of our house.  Fortunately, within a few hours, both lines had been repaired, but there was one final mishap at the end of the day!

At my request, the men had ventured up near the chicken pen to remove a large pile of limbs and debris near our daughter’s yard, before calling it a day.  While in that area, they decided to grind a few of the stumps near the chicken pen.  Within just a few minutes, the Bobcat and stump grinder bogged down!  It took the men well-over an hour to get the machine out, and by the end of the day, we all had a headache!

We’re expecting more rain today.  Two sides of our yard are covered with huge hunks of many trees, as well as the tree tops and limbs.  The massive stumps and sections of tree trunks are weeping tar profusely.  The other two sides of our yard are covered with dirt, sand, and sawdust, which will quickly become mud, as soon as the next shower of rain comes.  I can’t help but sigh when I think of how hard Ed and I worked on growing our lawn, which is practically non-existent now…

We’re not sure when the weather is going to dry off enough for the workers to get back in and finish the cleanup, so we’re playing a ‘waiting game’ with the rain.  The workers can’t collect all of their pay until the job is finished, and our lives can’t get back to normal until they finish the job.  I think I can safely say, everyone is looking for a silver lining in the cloud that continues to hang over our ‘neck of the woods’.

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 9:27 am  Comments (4)  
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Expecting Another Rainy Monday…

Acting Balanced

It’s the beginning of a new week, but it looks like it’s going to the more of the same…RAIN!  The sun is peeking in and out, but more rain is in our forecast for the next three days.  (long sigh)  I’m in desperate need of some distraction at the moment, so I’m participating in “Monday Quiz About Me”.  Here are this week’s questions:

1. Wednesday, July 24th is Drive Thru day – do you have any drive thrus that you have a hard time passing?

Yes, sometimes I have a difficult time passing by the Dairy Queen drive thru.  I really miss their hot fudge sundaes and banana splits! (another long sigh)

2. Other than signing your name, when was the last time you physically wrote something?

Yesterday.  I’m a list maker.

3. What was the first movie you saw in a movie theater? the latest one?

The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was “Your Cheating Heart” (the Hank Williams story).  I went to see it with my parents back in 1965.  I was ten at the time, and the movie was in black and white.  The last movie I saw in a theater was “Toy Story 3”, several years ago.

4. Have you ever visited Disney?

Yes, I’ve been to Disney World twice, many years ago.

My Weekend Wrap Up:

A picture is worth a thousand words…  Here’s the view outside of our house:

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The best word to describe our weekend was “memorable”. Our weekend was memorable for several reasons. It involved watching lots of trees being cut down, then suddenly watching lots of rain falling down, causing the tree cutting to come to a grinding halt! It also involved lots of water, mud, a make-shift bridge to our front door, and a soggy birthday celebration. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  To be continued…

Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 9:11 am  Comments (14)  
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Friday Fragments…

Unknown Mami
Speaking of keeping calm, thank goodness this week has been relatively calm compared to last week!  Having no appointments certainly helped,  but the continued daily downpours of rain certainly didn’t help my mood any.  There’s just something about a soggy yard– and brown water running through the faucets that tends to make me cranky!  Fortunately, we actually made it through Wednesday and Thursday without any rain!  Hurrah!  Light at the end of the tunnel?  We shall see.

I haven’t left the house the entire week, except to walk next-door to our daughter’s house once.  It’s been too wet and boggy to venture out, so I’ve stayed put.  I may or may not have a mild case of ‘cabin fever’!  In any case, rain or shine, I’m going to the bank and grocery store today, and I’m sort of looking forward to it 🙂

I’ve spent a large portion of this week listening to old cd’s.  I have quite a collection of older ones, some of which I’d totally forgotten about!  I’ve been ‘gettin’ down’  Toby Keith, Tracy Byrd, Dirks Bentley, and Leroy Parnell, to name a few.  One day I even threw a little Willie Nelson in the mix.  I’ve discovered I can get more housework done if some good music is playing in the background!

Ed and I didn’t have any appointments this week, but his mom did.  In fact, she’s been to four appointments, this month alone.  We’re blessed that the assisted living facility is willing to help shoulder the responsibility for some of these appointments.  It keeps Ed from having to take off from work so much, since I’m not comfortable with taking her out alone.  I’m afraid she’ll fall.

Speaking of falling, I came close to sliding down in our yard this week!  There isn’t any grass on one side of our yard, and it is very muddy and slippery.  While tending to the chickens, my foot slipped, and I had to struggle to regain my balance.  I was wearing a pair of white shorts, and couldn’t help but think how mad I’d have been if I’d fallen in that mud!

I’ve managed to contract a case of poison ivy–from the cat!  He’s been in the woods, I haven’t!  I know exactly which cat gave it to me, and when it happened because of where the rash is located.  Last Friday, our fat orange tom cat was laying on top of my car, when I got ready to go to the dentist.  The cat wouldn’t move after I cranked up the car, so I had to pick him up and move him myself!  Now I have poison ivy on the inside of my right lower arm.  I’m working very hard to contain it, because I’m very allergic to poison ivy, and usually end up going to the doctor for a shot!

Ed got in touch with a ‘tree service’ this week.  We got an estimate for having those twenty-seven leaning and scarred pine trees removed from around our house.  It’s a lot of money, but, unfortunately, it’s a necessity.  After those three large trees narrowly missed our house, a couple of years ago, we just haven’t felt safe. The workers are coming today to begin cutting most of our beloved pine trees down.  I’ll be glad when it’s over!  I don’t enjoy seeing trees being cut down, especially so close to our house!  I’m worried about what kind of shape their vehicles will leave our very wet yard in, too.

The tree trimmers will probably be here soon, so I’d better get up and get moving.  That’s it for this edition of FF.  I’ll be linking up over at Unknown Mami’s, who’s filling in as guest hostess for Friday Fragments over the summer.  Have a great weekend–and say a little prayer for me today.  It’s going to be a stressful one, I’m sure.

Published in: on July 19, 2013 at 6:57 am  Comments (10)  
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Tuesday’s Blog Hop– Sweet Georgia Pines…

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Our little house in the pines...

It’s a windy, cloudy day here in southeast Georgia, and the atmosphere mirrors my mood today.  I woke up to the unpleasant sound of timber being harvested.  I absolutely hate for timber to be harvested–especially when it is right next-door.  It sickens me and makes my heart ache every time I hear one of those beautiful trees fall to the ground!

Our neighbor and friend, a farmer who owns the land on one side of us and behind us,  is having his pine trees thinned out.  The forestry people recommended doing this so his remaining pine trees will grow better and be larger. 

This same farmer harvested all of his timber back in 1990.  I still remember it so well.  All of the trees were cut and cleared.  We never knew that we had neighbors living so close!   The woods made such a good barrier, that it gave the illusion of being all alone.  We’d been living here for about 13 years then. 

Ed’s daddy decided that he would have his timber cut at the same time our neighbor did back in 1990.  I cried and cried.  That was one of the few times that I ever got upset with my father-in-law.   I watched in horror as they cut all of the beautiful trees down the lane, including the large one that Ed’s mama said they always used for a shade and rest tree when they were picking cotton so many years ago.  I watched them cut the many pine trees all around Ed’s parents house.  Suddenly we could see their house from ours!  Everything looked so open and barren.

Time passed, my feelings mended, new trees grew back, and I went to work and didn’t have time to worry about pine trees so much anymore.  I believe it was in 1996, when Brandy’s then boyfriend, G, brought a bunch of small pine seedlings to our house.  He’d gotten them at school.  We all went out to the edge of our land and planted those pine trees.  Most of them lived and they are fairly large pine trees now.  We planted those trees so the next time our neighbor cut his timber, we would not be left without any trees beside us!  I still look at those trees and remember the day that we all planted them.

Speaking of trees, that is what Brandy’s husband Clint, used to do for a living.  He and his daddy had a reforestation business.  Once the land had been harvested and cleared, they would replant it in pine trees.  Clint can show you pine trees all over Georgia and South Carolina that he helped plant. 

When Brandy and Clint got married, they gave all of their guests little pine seedlings as gifts.  Clint’s family wrapped each tree’s roots in little burlap cloths over plastic,  and had a note from the bride and groom attached to each tree.  I kept two trees for Brandy and Clint,  and planted them in their yard while they were gone on their honeymoon.  One tree got sick later, but Clint nursed it back to health.  As a result, one tree is much larger than the other, even though they were planted at the same time.  Brandy and her family moved, and those trees are now located in Brett and his family’s backyard. We still refer to those trees as “Brandy” and “Clint”, and think of the amount of years they have been married by how much the trees have grown…eight years and counting.

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Brandy and Clint's wedding trees...still growing

There are probably those reading this who think I’m a silly old person for carrying on over trees, but I am just a person who appreciates all living things.  I can’t help but think how long it took to grow those trees, and in the twinkling of an eye, they are gone.  The real “kicker” to this whole story is…I am allergic to pine trees!  Sorry for being a little “sappy” today about the trees… How do you feel about trees?


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Published in: on November 10, 2009 at 9:32 am  Comments (9)  
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