Monday, June 27, 2011

Timber!!!! My Form of "Nesting"

It all started at the beginning of this incredible storm season of 2011.  I drove to work one morning and this is what greeted me outside of Emory's Law School.  There wasn't a tornado - just the straight line winds the night before.  Can you believe it?  It shook me to my core.  The pregnancy hormones didn't help either.  In this same storm a father and son were killed by a tree falling on their house.
That same night we had a small limb fall from this tree (below) into our roof.  The limb was not large at all but fell with such force from such a height that it punctured our roof.  That was a quick $350 spent.  From a tree we have already invested so much in keeping healthy to date...  I felt like God was giving me too many signs to ignore...
I love you Earth - and I love you Tree.  But I do not love the way you hang right over our house and especially our bedrooms.  I do not love the way you are wedged between power lines and threaten houses and lives all around you.  You are a 120 year old oak tree and you scare me so.  I realize you were here before any of us - but unfortunately your days are numbered.

Kirk made an astute observation as we have had storms and giant trees fall weekly for the past few months across Atlanta.  Usually seemingly healthy trees rising up from their root balls which just feels like the apocalypse.  Kirk noted that Sherman burned Atlanta during the Civil War 120-150 years ago.  Then came Reconstruction where there was so much rebuilding and replanting.  Now all those 100+ year old trees are giving way at the same time.

I immediately announced I wished for my "Push Present" to be cutting this tree down.  It is an enormous expense to cut down - one that seems silly to make on something so mundane.  But I need to feel safe in our house.  With two children it will be more difficult to scoop them BOTH up and hustle them to the downstairs guest bedroom to huddle together fearing the tree wrath during every storm.  And I would feel equally awful if this tree behemoth ever harmed our neighbors.
After getting 7 quotes, negotiating with several companies and working diligently for 8 weeks to coordinate logistics, Casey Trees and a 7,000 ton crane arrived at our house to do the job.  They closed the entire street and ended up cutting the power.  Luckily our neighbors were pretty understanding!

Bit by bit the tree came down.  I will say it was bittersweet.  But in the end it was the right investment to make.  We would never forgive ourselves if our children were hurt by a falling limb.  We sleep right in the eaves of our roof (no attic) so there just really wasn't any protection.  All day one guy was up in the tree and carefully orchestrated with the crews below to cut.  It was quite a tango of communication!

This is what we are left with.  We will have to come up with something creative to do with this stump (It reminds me of The Giving Tree).  I promised Connor a picnic atop.  We could all three sit with plenty of space to spread out.  It is literally that big.
It has stormed almost daily since our tree came down.  I sleep much easier now.  And my 'nesting' instincts have shifted from tree removal to washing baby clothes.  Goodbye tree.  You lived a good life.  

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