Offcuts: Big Beautiful Trees By: Don Heisz

So, it’s all a rich pageant.

This morning, I got up at my normal time of around 5:30 am and was going to sit down and write this week’s Offcuts article, but something distracted me. Kept me busy all day long, actually. But that will be something to talk about next week, maybe.

Today, I meant to talk about big, beautiful trees and how much I don’t trust them.

On Thursday, as a last hoorah for winter (although it is technically spring), the weather turned absolutely terrible. It looked like rain but it was some magical combination of almost snow and an ambient temperature hovering around freezing. Ice stuck to everything. But I didn’t really notice until I happened to see the window beside my chair was covered by a drooping tree branch completely coated in ice.

That was fine. That’s happened before. That’s no big deal.

Then the power went out.

Shortly after that, red lights filled the windows as firetrucks started slowly moving down the street with searchlights shone on the trees.

Shortly after that, a fireman was at the door telling my oldest son that he was about to tell us to evacuate due to a tree that looked like it was going to fall on the house. However, the tree actually fell behind him as he was walking to the door, but just across the lawn. So, lucky for him, he didn’t get crushed. The house didn’t either.

However, a while later he returned to advise us once again to leave due to another tree that was threatening to fall under the weight of ice. So, everyone left. Except me. I stayed. Why? What can I do if a tree falls on the house?

Not sure, is my answer. Something, though, I would elaborate. If that tree fell on that end of the house, I would do something. Maybe it would just be jumping up and down and cursing, but at least I would know what was going on.

Most people would say that’s a bit stupid. Maybe it is. However, I am thoroughly convinced that I would be able to have some positive effect if the back end of the house collapsed under a tree that is roughly three times the height of the house.

And don’t bother saying anything, I would do it again.

So, the night passed without any further incident. The only sounds were those of cracking wood as more and more branches broke off trees, as more and more trees fell to the ground. But somehow, no trees fell on anyone’s house.

power lines on fence

The next day, the weather was pretty neutral. It did not get warm enough to melt the ice but it also didn’t get windy or rainy or snowy. So, nothing happened. I expected my power to not be restored for quite some time, since the top of a tree in my neighbor’s yard snapped off, landed on the power line, then yanked that off the pole and onto the ground. My power line ended up on top of the chain link fence between my neighbor’s house and mine.

And, oddly enough, power has been restored, in spite of the power line still being there. I did phone in to say it’s there, but no one has come to fix it.

I won’t touch the fence, though.