A view of my world in Central Illinois and places we go.

Downed tree limbs and "crazy" neighbors

Woke up this morning to find about half of our Bradford pear tree in the driveway. It blocked both cars from exiting, but thankfully did no damage to either vehicle. Nor did it do any damage to the fence or the arborvitae we recently had replaced along the drive – it was really quite remarkable how it missed everything. Must be Kathy’s good living and charitable nature, because it sure isn’t mine…and, along those lines, my first remarks to Kathy this morning (or, I should say, the first ones she heard me say) were, “What the hell! Can’t you hear me? There’s a tree in our driveway!”

But the real excitement started when the arborist arrived. Those of you that have talked to me over the last couple of weeks have probably heard me mention my neighbor across the street (the one that bought our old house) and how animated he got when our window contractor pulled into his drive to back up into ours (our driveways are directly opposite one another). “You’re going to destroy my driveway! You’re too heavy! Get the f- out of my drive!”
So, I meant to be out front when the arborist arrived, but decided I could shower before he showed up. Wrongo…as I emerged from the shower, I heard Kathy exclaim, “They’re here!” and “Uh-oh, they pulled into Corey’s drive!” I got out to the street as quickly as I could, hoping the neighbor was still out riding his bicycle, but dreading his return as the driver got devilishly close to the fire hydrant and had to turn his wheels – on the soft grass – as he tried to extricate himself from the narrow drive with a chipper in tow. Little did I know that Corey had already been out screaming at the driver, while he tried to answer another service call, and oh, wouldn’t you know, make room for the garbage truck making his weekly pickup. I recall now that the driver seemed pretty agitated and it is clear to me now why he was.
Eventually, he did get backed into our drive and set up for tree disposal. About that time, our good neighbor was back, spittin’ fire and more f-words, saying how he was going to call the police and the arbor company, getting his license plate number, etc. I stood back and watched the flames come out of his ears, quietly hoping he’d stroke out in the street. Sure, I would have called 911, but it might have taken me a while to get to the phone…
I will end this by saying the tree was cleared away, and all the mess in the drive along with it. Nothing was permanently damaged, although my shady hosta garden is now a sunny spot. But, the arborist believes what remains of the tree is “mechanically unstable” (must be an arborist term) and should be removed. I liked the tree, especially for its shade, but it was a bit of a pain. In spring, the pretty white flowers would turn to a biologic snow and clog the pond filter. In summer, it sheds little pear-pods that would require sweeping or vacuuming. And in the fall/winter, the leaves wouldn’t fall until it snowed, so inevitably I would be shoveling snow and leaves at the same time. Not to mention all the crap it would shed into my 20+ foot high gutters. However, it will take years for something to grow in its place. In the mean time, I will need to move the shady plants to other parts of the yard. And avoid the neighbor.

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