I may have gotten a little petulant when I first saw the “Men Working” sign in front of our house this week.
I may have even stamped my foot once or twice while protesting (whining?) that “it’s my day off.”
Working was not on my “to do” list.
At first, I was sure my wife had put the sign there as a not-so-subtle nudge to get busy.
Then I heard the welcome buzz of chainsaws.
Turns out, the sign wasn’t for me. It was intended for drivers, advising them about the men trimming trees down the street.
I’ve actually been waiting for someone to break out chainsaws in our neighborhood for several months, ever since a guy working for the power company knocked on our door. He was identifying trees in our neighborhood that threatened overhead lines and advised me that the Bradford Pear in front of our house was problematic.
I readily agreed.
When we moved into our house more than a dozen years ago, there were four Bradford Pears lined up in our yard. Two of them came down in the freak October snowstorm that hit five years ago. At the time, I wrote that our yard “was a jumble of broken branches” and that “I hadn’t ever seen a bigger mess outside our teenage son’s room.”
If that doesn’t give you a good idea of the shambles our yard was in, consider this: even though our son has been away for his freshman year of college for nearly six weeks, my wife and I have yet to work up the nerve to crack open the door to his lair in the basement.
We haven’t talked about it, but I suspect she is just as fearful as I am about what might greet us. I actually think boarding it up and marking it with a skull and crossbones would be the best option.
Simply put, our son’s bedroom is the sort of problem that’s best put off until tomorrow.
But I’m tired of putting off our Bradford Pear tree problem. Ever since that October storm, I’ve worried about the two that remain. They both show scars from that storm and others. And even though they are still standing, I worry they are on borrowed time. The right storm at the right time could bring them crashing down like their siblings.
That’s why I welcomed the power company tree trimmer guy when he showed up at our front door. I may have even danced a jig when he offered to cut down the Bradford standing directly in front of our house. It didn’t hurt that it is to be cut down as part of the company’s trimming plan, instead of mine.
Those Bradford Pear trees have vexed me over the years. And while they have brilliant white springtime flowers and the one in front of our house offers shade, I’m just as happy that soon I won’t have to worry about it crashing into the dining room as if it were an unwanted dinner guest.
We’ll still have one, though.
And with all the trouble those trees have been, one is enough.