I'm here paying my respects to someone I've come to love and admire immensely. Okay, so it's a tree, but it still means the world to me. We bought our home in March of 2007 for three reasons: close proximity to downtown/UT, the beautiful refurbished interiors, and the massive Texas red oak that spanned our entire property. Since then, this mighty "heritage oak" has fallen on tough times.
Last May's hail storm and what had to be a tornado brought down a girthy little branch -- ah yes, so big was this little one that I couldn't wrap my arms around it (yes, that would qualify me as a tree hugger) and it engulfed the entire back yard when it came down, missing our eaves and fence by only a foot (luckily).
So comes the drought of 2009 when Lady Luck took a back seat to Murphy's Law. Coming home to two massive tree limbs on your roof does not bring one comfort. It was actually my worst nightmare realized. Drought apparently stressed the old beast to the point of collapse and our roof was in its warpath. Surprisingly, shockingly, our house sustained little damage, which makes me thankful for owning a 70-year old home that was built to last. But that's about all I'm thankful for. Our half of the oak is now gone and the other half is scheduled for removal. All that urban habitat, shade, and food supply gone in two days of chainsaws and trailers.
The best part was that it started raining the day after the tree cracked and continued to do so for a solid week, you know, when we have a hole in our roof. That Murphy and his law really stuck it to us this time. Just think, if that tree had held on for one more week, hell, one more day, it could have been saved (or at least I like to think so).
I mourn for the loss of that beautiful majestic beast and will pay homage to it by planting young oaks in its wake, so that one day the neighborhood wildlife and I can enjoy the simple pleasures that come from living near such a presence. Plus, it makes all my necklaces that were molded from pieces of that tree that much more special. Tear.