Monday, August 21, 2006

Completely gutted

Well, I had intended to post more last week, but an event in my life pretty much shut me down for the week. My 80+ year old neighbor decided to "help" me by trimming some branches off of our 40 ft Hemlock tree. These branches drooped low over the front of our house and provided a beautiful covering and feature to our very boring house. They also kept the glare off of our TV, provided privacy for our 9-1/2 foot front window, and reduced the heat from too much sun in that South facing window. My husband and I LOVED those branches. They were, in fact, our FAVORITE feature on our house. Also, because of the size of the tree, we have a huge freaking dead spot in our yard that the branches covered nicely. Now that they are gone my yard is hands down the ugliest yard on the block (considering the yard of the neighbor on the other side of my house, that's saying something) and I have no time for yardwork. Full-time job, two young children, commute from hell & Himself hates to work in the yard = no time for yard work.

We were absolutely devastated by what the neighbor did to our tree and our home. However, this guy is over 80, is something of a surrogate grandfather to our kids and is in all other ways the most awesome neighbor we could ever ask for. He called a couple of days later and said he knew he'd done a "very bad thing" and wanted to ask for our forgiveness. He offered to pay some money for the whole thing, but you know, it wouldn't put the branches back on my tree. We talked very honestly about what he'd done & how I felt about it. I didn't tell him I'd been crying fairly continuously since I saw the damage, but I explained all of the problems we were now going to have because of what he did. He was only looking at the outside, he had never stopped to think about the impact it would have inside our house (the glare, the heat, the loss of privacy). If the man were an utter jerk, I'd have taken the money. He truly believed he was doing us a favor, he was completely out of line & he didn't know that his actions would make such a dramatic difference in the tree or our yard. Did I mention that he is over 80?

I swear, it feels like a death in the family or something. I hate going home because I have to see my house and confront the loss every time I pull into the driveway. Any time I start thinking about it and what I need to do to minimize the damage, I just get all weepy again. I know it is just a tree, but it was such a violation. I'm totally gutted over this thing. I didn't knit all last week because it gave me too much time to think about it and I just cried. I find it very difficult to knit and cry at the same time, so I've only just picked up the needles again. It has been a week, time to pick up the pieces and move on. I just wish my house wasn't so very unattractive now.

Things are going better the past two days, so I think I'm beginning to move past grieving and into acceptance. However, I have been so upset by this, and I've lost so much sleep over it as well, this has really caused me to spend some time thinking about myself and my life right now. Yippee, introspection! (like I have time for this!) I have learned a few small things, but I think the tree was the tip of an iceberg, if you will. It was very symbolic of something and now I feel compelled to figure out what that is. As long as I can take my knitting with me while I'm working on it, oh, and maybe my spinning too. I was going to post some pictures of the house before/after, but decided it might be too much for me right now. How pathetic! Tomorrow, something happier!

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