A Tale Of Two Trees...
Last night and for much of today hurricane-strength winds battered the little town where I live. In our county alone, millions of dollars of damage was done and the streets are literally covered with tree branches, leaves, and garbage. After work my wife and I drove around and surveyed the destruction. It was, in a word, incredible (but not in a particularly good way...).
The city lost many trees. From what we saw most of the homes were not damaged, but the trees are definitely lost for good. Tonight our community mourns the loss of one particular tree, the one located close to the city cemetery, the one that for every year (for at least the last 40...) the people who owned the tree decorated it with those large Christmas lights--the kind of lights you can see for miles. In fact, everyone who drove by could see the tree...it must have been at least 60' tall. A few nights ago my wife and I were heading home with dinner for the family and I saw the tree. I thought about taking a picture of it for my "Pic Of The Day" but decided against it. We had to get home to feed the younglings. I told myself that I had plenty of time to take that picture. I also told myself that I had to make sure and take a picture of the tree for my blog post before the Christmas season came to an end. I guess now I won't have that opportunity.
The loss of this tree is easily the community's most devastating. It's almost unthinkable that we'll no longer be able to see that big beautiful tree as we take the upper road on our way to and from the cities to the south.
About a mile north of this once stately pine, another tree succumbed to the winds. Far fewer people know of this tree, and so fewer people will have the same emotional impact for its loss. Like all trees, the lesser-known tree had its own story. Sometime in the early 1970's a newly married couple built a house on the hill. They lived there for several years and raised two children in their home. I can't with any certainty say exactly which Christmas it was, but one of the first Christmases the new family had in their new house, they bought a live Christmas tree and when the ground thawed in the spring, they planted that tree in their front yard. Around 9:30 a.m. this morning, wind, gravity, and soft un-frozen ground brought the now huge blue spruce down.
I've told the new owners of the home that their big pine tree was once a family Christmas tree several times. I think I found the story more charming than they perhaps did. The wind brought down many trees today that meant a great deal to many people. I guess we'll just have to plant new ones and hope they will one day mean as much to the generations that will follow.