Sunday, August 14, 2005

Nice Neighborhood

It's been perfect for me!

I live in a really nice neighborhood. Middle class, 1/3 acre lots, nice neighbors - some grandparents, some young parents, some families like mine - nice wooded area, lots of trees. Of course at one time this used to be a farm and I'm sure it was a nice farm. It's got rolling hills, good soil, lush green grass and flowers and vegetables thrive here. It's a little bit of heaven on earth.

When my fiancee arrived for the first time last week, he loved it. He told me that I would miss all this green and trees and quiet. The house is kind of big, but not too much - it's a ranch approx 1600 sq ft on each floor. Please of room to have some privacy without having to clean for days to get the whole place done!! I have a wood-burning fireplace which I love! I love to burn as much as I can.

Anyway, each morning that we ate our breakfast together on the deck we enjoyed the quiet, the breeze, all the trees and shade. It is very nice. Again, he was worried that I would be disappointed in California because there is no place like this there.

Next door to me used to live the kindest, sweetest older woman. Her name was Hazel. We became instant friends and really enjoyed each other's company. Turned out that I knew her daughters who were my age, but didn't even realize who they were in relation to her. I would go over and help out as often as possible and really liked to hear the stories of the neighborhood but more importantly, she had 5 majestic pinoaks in her yard that reached high in the heavens and were over 135 years old. She told me the history of them as well as she knew it, as it was handed down in the neighborhood. They are the oldest trees in my neighborhood. They provided shade for her entire house and half of mine. They shaded my lot and I designed my landscaping to accomodate the beautiful trees. The trees were part of the appeal of my house, even though they weren't on my property, I benefited greatly from their loving shade and breezes.

The squirrels loved them mostly. They were full of acorns annually and fed the squirrels for the entire winter. Squirrel nests abound in the trees, high at the top where squirrels like to live. The trees helped to create a balanced eco-structure in my neighborhood and I was proud to live by them and was always in awe at their beauty.

In the fall and spring they caused some work because of all of the leaves that would fall. But they also made the season. My yard would be full of oak leaves and I would reminisc the days when my children were younger and had we lived here then, they would've built the biggest pile of leaves and ran and jumped into them. They were those kind of big fluffy leaves that all kids adore playing in! The trees have become an intimate part of my life, invoking memories of not only them, but of other places I've lived with trees I've loved, but none as majestic as these mighty oaks.

A few years ago, Rainman and I took 2 seedlings to his condo park in Dayton, Ohio and replanted a couple of those trees there. We carefully picked places in the tree line where we thought they would get enough sun and rain and thrive into full adulthood. I haven't checked on them in quite a long time, I really hope they have survived.

In fact, if I find anymore seedlings in my yard, I'm going to take them to a park somewhere and transplant them, or even try to plant one in my yard before I go. I am such a NATURE GIRL that I do find it important to be surrounded by live plants, trees, flowers, vegetables and if possible the mountains or somewhere to get to nature. So I understand why my boyfriend is concerned about my missing this wonderful little space that I call home.


In an instant, it all changed!!! You see, my wonderful neighbor, Hazel, died earlier last year. And when she died, her daughters kept the house as long as they could until they could figure out what to do with it. I was hoping that one of them would decide to move in, but they didn't. They decided to sell it. So, it turned out that they sold it to another older couple and their granddaughter. The granddaughter is in her 20's and they are in their 70's or maybe even close to 80. First off, I didn't realize that banks loaned money to people that old, but hey, who knew!?!

So, here they are, they told me how much they loved the lot and the house when they first moved in. And here we are, maybe not even a year later, and they are annoyed (or maybe even surprised) that they have to maintain the trees. They have to pick up sticks, will have to rake leaves, clean out their gutters, etc. The thing is that I wonder about is didn't they think about that when they bought the house. I mean we are talking 5 huge pinoaks reaching high into the heavens!!

So, Thursday, I came home from running errands with my sweetie and they were cutting them down!! It's terrible!! It's a sin! I'm so disappointed but now, I have to look at the whole situation and realize that the timing of my moving to California and their cutting down the trees is unreal - that God knew how disappointed I would be and how I would not want to live here any more because the trees were so much a part of the charm of this house and the neighborhood.

As an era comes to a conclusion for me and my family living in Reading - an era that has been for 12 years. So comes a 135+ year legacy for 5 healthy majestic pinoaks and a neighborhood that will not be the same without them. It's amazing to me that some people will move on this street and never know these trees, never experience their grandeur. I feel blessed to have shared my space with them for the last 5+ years.

And is there a Karma lesson for my neighbors coming down the road? Possibly. Destroying a piece of living history has to come with a price. I'll leave that one to nature.

Goodbye old will be missed.


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