The little ice storm last week wreaked havoc on Hillmomba's flora. The cedars sagged like weeping willows, but mostly sprung back over the slow two-day melt. Hardwoods, on the other hand, fared worse. A medium-sized tree fell across our gravel road down by the creek:
The road was still passable, as long as you went to the other side. There's not a lot of traffic on the road, unless it's rush-hour after-work time. Didn't concern Mrs. Hillbilly Mom all that much, because mostly she goes to town around 11:00 for her 44 oz Diet Coke. Other people who live up in our compound must not have minded all that much either. Because that tree stayed right there.
It's not like you could just drive over it and crunch the limbs down. It's pretty substantial:
Not even T-Hoe is built for driving through that branchy maze. The guy whose land it's on probably doesn't even know it fell. It snapped off down low to the ground, and toppled over the one thin wire he strung across a couple of fence posts to make a fence. Not that it will keep anybody out. He must have been having trespassers, because he has just recently painted purple on tree trunks and added more NO TRESPASSING OR HUNTING signs.
Farmer H might be the only person perturbed by this road blockage. And HE doesn't even go in or out on this road most days. He takes the high road (snort, snort, sorry for the absurdity of that terminology) past the boys' land where HOS now has his trailer. He only works three days a week now anyway. All last weekend, Farmer H was talking about how he was going to trim that tree as soon as the ice melted off so nothing would come crashing down on him.
YESTERDAY, Farmer H came home from work grousing about how he can't believe nobody has cleaned up that tree that's out in the road!
Seriously? WHO is going to do that? Other people out here who were waiting for the ice to melt off? Who work during the week? Maybe Farmer H was just mad because he spent several hundred dollars for loads of gravel to stabilize the washing-away road on the steep hill, and nobody chipped in or even helped him, and one had the nerve to complain that now all she would be able to drive in and out was her Hummer.
Anyhoo...when I left for town today, Farmer H was out trimming. When I passed by, he said two people had stopped. One saying that THEY had been going to cut that tree up, but were waiting on a good day for it. And the other thanking Farmer H for doing the deed. Farmer H reported that he was getting ready to get one of his tractors and go blade the gravel back onto the roads.
When I came home, Farmer H was riding the Gator around the BARn field, his three dogs (Copper acts like he lives here now) running ahead of him and barking. He said he had been up on the hill (the high road) and the crazy man who puts sticks in the middle of the road came out and asked what he was doing.
"I told him I was blading the road, and he said, 'This is MY property,' and I said, 'Nobody owns the road, and if you haven't blocked it in 7 years, it's public property.' Then he gets all smart with me and says, 'You don't know anything!' and I said, 'This road has been here for more than 7 years, I don't care what you think about what I know.' And he said, 'That's my fence!' It's about as far as from here to the horse field there. So I said, 'Yeah. It's your fence. I don't care about your fence. I'm blading the road.' He had a knife on his belt. I wished I had my knife. He never reached for it, but I was hoping he would! I was going to take out my phone and call the sheriff!"
"NO! I can't leave you alone for two hours! Isn't it enough that the guy across from there threatened to shoot you, and then got arrested after you called the cops on HIM?"
"Well, he can't come out there and threaten me because I'm blading the road. I think I'll go back up there and smooth it out now."
"NO! Go somewhere else. AND all these people out here are going to KNOW it was YOU blading the roads, and you left a ridge about a foot high down by where that tree was."
"I know. I want it to get spread back out toward the sides. The cars'll do that as they drive over it."
"I couldn't even get up over it in T-Hoe! That Hummer lady is gonna complain again."
"Let 'er complain. Ain't nobody else tryin' to fix the roads."
I'm not so sure Farmer H's 60% retirement is good for my health. I might have to start wearing a knife on my belt.