The maple tree measured 42 inches across the stump. There were three of them, standing guard between our yard and Mrs. Lee’s, where the little creek runs across the bottom of our property and under Fodderstack Road. One of them, the one leaning most precariously, has a knothole in it about 12 feet off the ground. Several years ago, a pair of screech owls used it to raise three fuzzy, little owls. We had always assumed that a high wind would take it down. What we didn’t know was that the largest of the trio was rotten inside at the base of the trunk.
When the high winds came through a couple of weeks ago the big one gave up the ghost and came crashing down, taking a paper birch with it. I say “crashing down” because I assume that when a huge tree falls, be it in my yard or in the forest, it makes a noise, whether anyone is there to hear it or not. The leaning one is still hanging on, clutching to the side of the creek, refusing to fall.
I had to leave the fallen giant where it was for a few days; there were more pressing issues. It wasn’t hurting anything where it was and it surely wasn’t going anywhere. I turned my attention to a computer that died during the storm and blown away shingles and other matters. When I started working on the tree I tried to keep thinking that it was a blessing of sorts; the maple would make pretty good firewood. Before I got the big end cut up and moved to my wood yard, I had begun to believe that I may have been given too many blessings.
My late father-in-law, Julian Welch, was a good, hard working man. Just like me, he had a fault or two, but I admired him and liked being around him. He was good at making a joke or having something funny to say. I remembered him fondly when I was working on the large end of the tree. I have a decent sized chainsaw, but as Mr. Welch would have said, I had to take “roundsters” on it to get it cut off clear through.
I now have these huge chunks of wood in the back field and a new computer that I barely know how to turn on. I am hoping that by the time I get all the wood split and stacked I will be better at the new computer. We will see how that plays out.
I want to thank all the nice people who sent me emails and comments concerning my last article dealing with growing older and what I like to call “the abrasions of time.” I am still working on that as, apparently, a number of you are, as well. Keep at it; we will be just fine.
And one final word on blessings. The Lenten Ecumenical Services are ongoing at Washington Baptist Church. It is such a blessing to see a church filled to overflowing, when the attendees are not there for a wedding or funeral. I had such a blessing a week or so ago, and it continues to warm my heart and give me hope for the future of all things.
Until next time, count all your blessings as good ones, whether they are few or many. God bless you, and I’ll see you in the funny papers.