Toothpicks

IMG_1103 The dog was barking at the window. From the sound of it I could tell she wasn’t looking at a squirrel. Or another dog. And she definitely wanted to go outside.

So I got up from my desk and took a step toward the door to let her out as I do a thousand times a day. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something through the window. That is what she’s barking at!

Unbelievable! Coming down my driveway, eating everything in its path was an honest to goodness monster. No, not Godzilla or Gamara. Nothing quite like that. It was a machine.

Rolling toward me, on four giant tires big enough to make any monster truck weep, was a yellow bodied machine with a buzz saw at the end of its single arm. Spinning and chewing with both delicate precision and shark like ferocity.

I ran to the door and was outside so fast that dog didn’t have a chance to follow. As I ran toward it the contraption was turning around to start back up the other side of the driveway. Still shredding trees and branches. There was a man inside. My God, its eaten him too I thought. But he was the operator. He could not see me or hear me, so I ran on to the truck that was still headed my way.

Looking more closely I noticed that the truck and the saw had a logo on them. I don’t remember what it said, something about power and trees. They were here to trim the trees along the power line right of way. At least I knew I wasn’t going to die.

Do trees have feelings? I don’t know. I do know that they bleed when you cut them. And I love my trees. But six months ago one of the big ones fell down in the yard, across the driveway, and took out all the power lines and phone lines. Internet that is. It was a real mess cleaning up the tree, part of which is still lying in the woods waiting to be cut up. And getting the power and internet back were a real nightmare.

So I understand why the power company wants to keep branches off of their lines. And it’s ok if they trim the branches. Neatly. Sometimes they just hack away and it looks like a giant rodent came through and gnawed away at everything. Sharp and jagged splinters of trees standing, or leaning, where healthy trees once towered.

My mother stood guard over a beloved purple beech tree every year when the power company came through. They would have to get to the tree through her. And every year they left the tree, and the crazy lady alone. It’s a gorgeous tree.

I talked to the man running the crew and he reassured me that they would clean everything up. And that they wouldn’t be back for several years. I thought about asking him to leave the ground up mulch for me, but that would be a lot of trouble and I already had enough tree issues to deal with.

There are lots of trees here. Some I fear will fall on the house. Or the barn. Or the cars. Or even me. But the power lines are safe for now.

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?

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