Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Farewell to Old Friends

It's been a busy but also a melancholy week here
at home. The 'tree guys' finally removed all of our beloved pine trees (the ones my father gave me 28 yrs ago, just before he passed away) that were severely damaged from the Feb. ice storm. I've been dreading this day for several years. Funny, but I almost had these trees removed before the Christmas holidays, and backed out. As I hung up the phone with the tree service, telling them NOT to come, that I had changed my mind, I had a sinking feeling and thought, I hope I haven't jinxed us. This will probably be the year we get a bad ice storm. My husband and I continued to halfheartedly joke about that, saying we were certainly 'due' one as it had been several years since the last big ice storm. Well, as it so happened, it couldn't have worked out better, because the storm did just enough damage to make the decision easier without taking out our home. We're so lucky they didn't come crashing down on the house during the night. This week, just feeling the deep, vibrating 'thud' as each gigantic trunk hit the ground was enough to reassure us that we made the right decision to get rid of them before they take us down in the next storm. They would easily have split the house right in two.

You can see in the photo on the right how 'thinned out' the pines were from the ice damage. Of course I think they would have recouped fine, but they were just getting way too tall and were too close to the house, as were several of our oaks (notice in 3rd photo on right, the 2 oaks standing, now stripped of their limbs, trunks shortened, and ready to fall, how close they were to the house) . The old oak tree on the side of the house was the last to go. So sad, as it was a gorgeous tree, but it pounded our roof all night during the ice storm and if that tree had snapped, well, it was right up against our house. It's the one that kept me running all during the night of the storm as each limb that snapped crashed to the roof. We would grab our flashlights and cautiously peek into the bedroom to see if any limbs were protruding through the ceiling. Luckily, they never did. As much as I hate to see all these beautiful trees go, I know we'll rest easier, especially at night when a storm's coming. We lost a total of 15 trees in our yard, 7 of which fell from the weight of the ice, but fortunately, we were able to save many, or at least give them a few more years, by pruning the damaged limbs.

One good ending to all this though - knowing that this day would come, I have been saving seedlings from my Dad's pines and should continue having some for a few seasons, as I've also been collecting the pine cones and I know the yard is still full of seeds. I have been transplanting the seedlings in the hollow (they're not too happy there though-too much competition for sun). I'm trying to find some good sunny spots to plant some along the back yard at the wood's edge - well away from the house! Hopefully, I'll be able to continue my father's imprint on our property (which, regrettably he never got to see) and his love for southern pines.

My goals for tomorrow:

  • Finish mixing up some glaze recipes - had to order some more chemicals before I could finish up.
  • Play around with some new water-based oils I purchased a while back.
  • Maybe make some more clay pendants. I'm having fun with these, but have no idea how they are going to turn out.
  • And I'm STILL archiving photos - been doing this all week!
As I'm posting this, a tornado warning has just been issued in parts of Oklahoma, and probably headed this way. Hey, that's okay, at least we've taken care of the tree issue, now we just have to worry about the house...


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