For two years now, The Pony and I have been observing a freak of nature. No. We're not talking about Farmer H.
On the way to and from school, we drive down a quiet residential street, one lined with classic homes from a bygone era. Large homes. Homes that look like they might have secret passages, dumbwaiters, and parlors. Most are in good shape. Some are in the process of rehabbing. But for the most part, it's a scenic avenue with stately real estate.
The house that catches my attention each a.m. and p.m. is not all that stately. In fact, I could not describe that house if a 44 oz. Diet Coke depended on it. I am too transfixed by what stands in the front yard. It's a huge evergreen tree of indeterminate species. Cedar, perhaps. It leans alarmingly towards the street. For two years, I have been leery of this behemoth. "That tree is going to fall on us. I can feel it."
The Pony feels that my worries are unfounded. The odds of that tree falling at the exact instant T-Hoe rolls by are outrageously high. Huh. Let's not forget the fears of Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events. A tree canting like a drunken sailor cannot defy gravity forever.
Last week, perhaps due to rain, perhaps due to wind...The Leaning Evergreen of Hillmomba moved a few degrees closer to terra firma. A portion of the trunk snapped at the base, on the house side, leaving a shard of wood the size of rolled-up newspaper (Sunday edition) reaching skyward. "Look! That tree has shifted. It's going to fall. It's going to take out those power lines. I can't believe Ameren Missouri has not fed that behemoth to the wood chipper!"
Tuesday morning, The Pony had to be at Newmentia by 6:30 a.m. to leave for a W.Y.S.E. competition. Farmer H selflessly volunteered to drive him, so I did not have to spend 90 minutes at school waiting to start my day. I was missing my little Pony as I drove myself to town at the regular time. Sure, he sits behind me, and rarely speaks except to say, "I really don't want to talk right now." I know he's there, even though he leans toward the window so I can't see him in the rearview mirror. When I talk, I can pretend that I am actually talking to him, not to myself.
Tuesday morning, I talked to myself. "LOOK! I KNEW it was going to happen!" The Leaning Tree of Hillmomba had fallen, and it couldn't get up. The only thing keeping it from blocking the road was the power lines. That tree laid across them like Paul Bunyan laying sideways across a hammock. And my Pony was not there to see it! I couldn't get a picture, because my Pony was not there to snap one for me. I sent him a text once I arrived at school. Of all the days to miss our morning ride, The Pony had to miss this one.
I was eager to show him the carnage on the way home. Of course The Leaning Tree of Hillmomba had been surgically removed. Only about a foot of the trunk, and a few piles of sawdust, remained. I wonder if Tanya Tucker wants to come out of retirement to recreate one of her biggest hits. Some things are just not strong enough to bend.
There's a tree, out in the front yard, that finally has been broken by the wind...