If a tree falls in your back yard...

Sigh.  Just look at this lovely photo of my backyard last summer.  Lush and green, with all that gorgeous dappled sunlight through the leaves, and the perfect shady spot to sit with a drink and watch the kids play.  I really, really love our back yard.

However, when I was at Oprah on Monday (or probably waiting in line for Oprah), this happened:
Yup, the whole tree came tumbling down - smack into our yard.  The terrifying thing is that our 2-year-old was playing at the back of the garden with his trucks all afternoon.  He got up and walked towards the house for a trip down the slide, and as he landed at the bottom, so did the tree.  It scratched his face, it came so close.  If he hadn't decided to walk to the slide, or had walked just 5 seconds later... I actually refuse to let my mind go there.  The Arbourist who came to assess the tree was convinced that Cam knew it was coming - he said dogs and young kids often have a sense of these things just before they happen and get out of the way.  Either way, when I got home from Oprah at 11pm, I sat in his room and watched him sleep for a long, long time.
That is a mighty big tree.  I don't know if you noticed in the first image, but it was also on our neighbour's side of the fence.  No matter, if it falls in your yard, it's your problem (read: your insurance).   Many phone calls, many questions, many site assessments. Eventually, three huge trucks pulled up in front of our house.  Anyone with 2 young boys knows that's better than Christmas.
They had a crew of almost eight guys and got through that tree in record time, while I/we watched from inside and tried not to cringe every time they trampled through the peonies.
I caught a glimpse of Cam's trucks under the debris and once again thanked every deity I could name, and made up a few more for good measure.
 Our umbrella was a little smushed...
Now my yard looks like this:
It is a completely different place.  I feel like I am in a subdivision.  My poor shade-loving hostas and astilbe are shrivelling in the sun.  But see that little guy in the plaid shirt?  As long as he is in the picture, it is a beautiful, perfect view.

22 comments:

  1. Oh my - how scary!! You are right - the backyard looks FANTASTIC with that little cutie still standing in it. :-)

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  2. Oh my. That is terrifying. But you're totally right. As long as the little ones are there with you then it's all good. If the landscape totally bothers you later on, you can plant a mature tree. An investment but it's totally possible.

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  3. Keira @ The Bennett HouseApril 20, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Wow! What a story. So lucky he moved when he did. Could they tell you why it fell? It doesn't look old or dead from these pictures. So scary!

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  4. So true Lindsay.  I think I might look into it - but it sure won't be a maple! :)

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  5. It was old and these kinds of maples are known to fall apart.  It actually grew up from a little key that fell in the neighbours' back yard about 30 years ago.  The funny thing is my husband and I had just joked about it a few days ago!

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  6. Oh my gosh Lisa, I assume you haven't let Cam out of your sight since. That is so insane - were they able to tell you why it fell?

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  7. I am so proud of you for having the correct prospective on this horrible incident. Things like this sure make you realize why you should not sweat the little stuff as at the end of the day if everyone is safe that is all that counts.  

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  8. ramblingrenovatorsApril 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Oh Lisa, how terrifying! I'm so so glad that Cam was safe. That is all that matters - though I wonder if you took a few deep breaths and ran through Oprah's message about Forgiveness in your mind. Good for you for focusing on the positive.

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  9. Oh my goodness!! Terrifying indeed. So glad that everyone's ok. i am so surprised (and annoyed for you) that you had to deal with the clean up afterwards!

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  10. Oh my word! So glad everyone is safe though. And yes, now your backyard looks like all of ours in new subdivisions - hardly a tree in sight! But that's all fixable.

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  11. Dharma@WannabeMermaidApril 23, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Holy! Thank goodness your babe is safe. Weird, dogs and kids.....they just know. Throw a mature tree in, one that gets attention and is safely pruned and monitored (durn neighbours). Again, glad your boy is safe, umbrellas are easy to replace ;)

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  12. That is very frightening. I'm so glad that everyone is okay! I guess you have so gardening to do :-)

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  13. Grace @ sense and simplicityApril 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Oh my goodness, could one post have brought a wider range of emotions - terrified and grateful for your son, sad for your garden!   So, so, so glad your son is fine and so, so ,so sorry your garden has changed for a very long time.  

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  14. Whoa!  What the what!  When I read this post my jaw dropped.  I am praising the Lord that your little is safe!  Yes, as long as our littles are safe everything seems beautiful and good. So glad everyone is safe. Sorry for the loss of your beautiful tree. xoxo

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  15. Thanks Brooke, it is still a bit of a shock to look out back!  And I am still giving my boys extra hugs every day.

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  16. Thanks Grace, that kind of how it felt - HUGE relief mixed with major disappointment.  However, I am sure we will still have lots of fun times out there this summer. :)

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  17. So true (I hated that umbrella anyway - covered in mould).  Yes we will have to look into mature trees and start saving our pennies!

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  18. Very very true Vanessa - all fixable!

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  19. Yeah, it was a bit annoying (just a bit!) but the neighbours are very nice, so we just filed it under "shit happens".

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  20. Thanks Jen, it certainly helped with perspective to have been to Oprah.  And now I get to plant some bright colourful flowers!

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  21. You are so right Cathy, it is just a tree at the end of the day.  NOTHING compared to my darling little guy.

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  22. Yes, poor Cam had to actually tell me the other day "No More Kisses Mommy!"

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Thank you so much for your comment - they always make my day!