|our roof- after a big branch went through it early friday morning|
I haven't been here for a few weeks, but the time has been anything but uneventful.
We've had a series of big nightime thunderstorms over the last few days, which have dropped large, heavy tree branches on our house and in our yard. One of those branches cut a nice sized notch in our roof and took out most of the soffit on that side.
So we're now working through the process of finding a roofer and of making an insurance claim- the first one ever on our homeowners insurance- and waiting to find out what will happen.
This isn't something I enjoy, and really don't want yet another project to work on, but there it is. There's no way around it.
Other than that, there's been the normal rush of spring planting all in one or two weekends- this year complicated by rainy and cool weather for all of what should normally be spring. My peppers I started from seed have all died, and the tomatoes are struggling. Fava beans, which like the cool, wet weather have been doing well, but were all plastered flat to the ground by wind and hail this weekend. They've survived, but are now growing in a weird L-shaped form, with 6 to 8 inches flat on the ground, and the rest standing up to catch the sun.
|this one thankfully missed the house|
I spent a good chunk of the day today cutting up wood, pulling more of it off the roof, making firewood and putting the rest in a brush pile. This will keep us in maple for barbecuing and smoking for the rest of the year, if it'll stop raining long enough for the wood to dry.
So now I have to think about what the future holds for the big maple tree growing three feet from our house's west wall. I've been the main advocate for keeping it-- that is, not cutting it down-- in our household for 7 plus years now. With the fairly significant damage to the house that we have had over the weekend, I'm not in a very strong position to argue for keeping it anymore.
I love the shade from the tree. It's a silver maple, which are notorious for dropping branches and damaging stuff, but it keeps our front yard cool. We were also able to tap it for syrup two years ago, and I'd miss not being able to do that again.
But there's the issue of being safe in our home-- We slept in the basement Friday night, during the more violent of the storms, wondering if we'd get another branch through the roof. And I'm wondering if we'd be up to repairing the roof again if we had to. Once is bad enough. With the age of the tree, it's pretty sure to drop some branches again, and pretty soon.
I suppose this would be an easy decision for most people. Cut the dang thing down. But being a homeowner is more than purchasing a collection of inanimate objects for your own enjoyment. Even on a little eighth acre city lot, there are a slew of plants and animals that are in the care and shelter of the nominal owners, and the owners' actions- whether to cut a tree or not- whether to apply poison to the lawn or not- make a big difference in the lives of the other residents of the lot who aren't carrying a 30 year mortgage.
So I look at the tree- a proud but aging elder who has likely been here for most of the house's 104 years and have to consider what I'll do. It won't last forever, and its death could lead to serious danger for my family.
Which, in the final analysis, is my highest priority. If I can't keep my kids safe, I'm not much of a father. I have to respect the tree, but I have to protect my own first and foremost.
I'll have to start calling arborists tomorrow.