Call me a Chicken Little, but trees scare me. They grow while you are sleeping, and they can come crashing down at any time. Right now, a sugar maple is lying partially across our roof. I’ve considered leaving it there as proof to my husband that I can indeed foretell disaster, a talent I would not wish upon my worst enemy. The damage certainly could have been worse. The impact took out our aluminum chimney along with a rain gutter for good measure. At least the tree didn’t fall on our new kitchen, or on us for that matter.
“Why can’t you use your witchy powers for good instead of evil?” B implores me as I nervously pace the property, turning my gaze upwards to the stand of old-growth pines out back. “Maybe we can call in a lumbering company to take them all away,” I say without a hint of remorse. “Let’s not get crazy,” B says. Too late.
Tree removal is expensive, and therefore must be carefully considered on our Smallpeace budget. Oh, did I mention, we just spent a wad of cash having two “unsafe” trees cut down last fall…so they wouldn’t fall on the house!
Thank goodness for the neighbors who drive by and gawk, for they are the ones who usually get the best photos for the insurance adjustor in our absence. Not all of them stop to gloat, mind you. There are the compassionate ones, valued friends who shake their heads in disbelief at our recent spate of bad luck; or good luck, depending on how you look at things. Hey, we’re still here, aren’t we?
Going forward, I will try my best to use my witchy powers for good, letting the chips—and the trees—fall where they may. But like so much else in our lives, anticipating the worst is a very difficult habit to break. All the more because, when I close my eyes at night, I remember the catastrophic health crisis I just survived.
Meanwhile at Smallpeace, life goes on in spite of my hyper-vigilance, as though the next disaster weren’t lurking around the corner, as if lightening couldn’t strike any one of us at any moment! Out on the lawn, my industrious husband is getting busy chopping up the ill-fated sugar maple. We will have more firewood this winter than we know what to do with. Our contractor Jay will come by to mend the chimney. He knows where we hide the key. And eventually, inevitably, all will be put right again.