Yes, I’m sentimental over a tree. Deal with it.

You know that teeny tiny snowstorm in New England? The one that happened a week and a half ago? The one that caused over 200,000 more customers to lose electricity than Hurricane Irene? That’s responsible for my sister’s electricity to still be out, 10 days later? It’s claimed its latest victims.

Most of the damage from Snowstorm Alfred (or whatever it is that the Altos have dubbed it) have occurred because the snow was the wet, heavy, break-yer-back-tryin’-to-shovel-it kinda snow. New Englanders hate that kinda snow. And for good reason. Your yard turns into a lake even before it starts to thaw. You can’t send your kids out to play in it because they come in a sopping mess. I’ve literally broken shovels trying to move it outta the way before. And then there’s the tree damage.

Branches come tumbling down, taking power lines with them. Whole trees are uprooted – the snow is that heavy. My mom lost one of the oak trees that grew from acorns my cousin and I planted when I was a wee lass. (Indeed, I was so little I don’t even remember doing it.) My sister and her friend used to climb those trees when they were kids. Good sturdy oaks, they were. And while I’m going to miss that tree, it’s not the one I’m heartbroken over. (Although I find I’m especially fond of that tree since it went out of its way to miss all the cars in the driveway.)

No, the trees I’m heartsick over are the giant weeping willows that lined my favorite view of Dorothy Pond. Look up at my header: see those beautiful willows? Those are the trees that died. My sister Rhi emailed me yesterday to say she had taken that road home from meeting her friend and saw that they had fallen into the pond. I nearly cried. Yes, nearly cried over a tree. (Well, two trees.) Go ahead – laugh at me. I don’t care. That stretch of Dorothy Pond stands for Millbury, my mom’s home town. I have framed pictures of it in my house. My dad took me fishing there one summer, just him, me, and my Snoopy fishing pole. Those trees are ones I smiled at every time I drove past, which I made a point to do every time I could.

And now they’re gone. Worse than gone, I feel like they’re haunting Dorothy Pond. Rhi emailed me again last night to comment on the way the willows were lying just below the shallow water there at the edge; their branches swirling around, barely visible. She said it was so hypnotic she drifted into the other lane. Good thing there wasn’t traffic or more pond on the other side of the road!

I wonder if anyone in Millbury remembers the beginning of those trees. I wonder how long they’ve lived and whether anyone else will miss them. I wonder if anyone will fish them out of the water, or whether their current incarnation will become part of the landscape. And I wonder if whoever lives in the house next door will let me plant some new ones next time I’m in town.

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3 Responses to “Yes, I’m sentimental over a tree. Deal with it.”

  1. Agent Torklepants Says:

    The storm really is named Alfred. The weather channel says sooooo =]

  2. Kathy Says:

    Beautifully written. There are trees like that where I grew up and when they are gone I know I will miss them. I already notice the change to the branch I used to sit on and read with my feet dangling over the creek. It will be so sad when the tree is gone.

  3. Kim Says:

    I wonder if you could A) track down the name & addy of the person who currently owns that land, and B) anonymously send them some baby weeping willows to plant there with a nice long note esplainin why…

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