Another Day

The day after the ant invasion (last week’s slice), my husband and I were hoping for a calmer day. We would not be meeting up with family, as they all needed to complete some work before we take off for our Catalina adventure. This day would roll out leisurely as we revisited places we had enjoyed previously. The highlight of the day would occur late afternoon. I was meeting up with a fellow slicer, Julieanne, who writes To Read To Write To Be.

Unfortunately, Julieanne  had quite a distance to travel to meet me at the designated shopping center after teaching all day. I didn’t mind waiting because this center has wonderful patio furniture for weary shoppers. I was able to settle into a comfy chair and people watch as I waited for Julieanne.

I pulled out my mini-notebook and began jotting notes of life happening around me. There was a large patch of astroturf, which was a magnet for toddlers, older siblings, parents, and grandparents. The children roamed free in this space surrounded by white adirondack chairs. Adults monitored their children from the comfort of the chairs, as the children discovered the joys of movement and each other. After a short time, they moved on and others came to take their place.

One phone is not enough for this little lady.

One phone is not enough for this little lady.

Humans weren’t the only creatures to watch. Birds stopped by to see if there were any crumbs left behind. A couple of girls began tossing pretzel bits out on the grass. It is amazing how many birds showed up to grab a morsel. The pretzel bit was snatched and they flew just out of reach of other birds to gobble their treasure.

Little beggars for crumbs

Little beggars for crumbs

It looks rather disgusted with me. "Well, aren't you going to feed me?"

It looks rather disgusted with me. “Well, aren’t you going to feed me?”

Soon, Julieanne arrived and we wandered away from my observation post in search of dinner. How quickly the hours passed as we talked of slicing, school, and blogs. Hopefully, we will be able to meet up again. It is such a treat to meet the person behind the words I so enjoy reading.


I was basking in the joy of my conversations when my husband said, “I have something to show you,” as he handed me his cell phone. “This came from Blake (neighbor across the street) today.”

Slowly it dawned on me what I was seeing. “What happened?” I asked.

tree down

It seems that a freak storm came through with wind blowing out of the north (normally wind comes from the west). A huge portion of the maple tree in our front yard landed on the garage and driveway. Fortunately the neighbors reported that there was no damage to the house, but it did not look good for the tree.

The neighbors swooped in with chainsaws and cleared the broken limb away within a day. From California, we arranged for an arborist assess the damage to the tree. It could not be saved. This was heartbreaking, this tree always had the most beautiful colors in the fall.

I loved the way the colors seemed to slide down the tree. This is from last year.

I loved the way the colors seemed to slide down the tree. This is from last year.

We learned that the red maple is a hybrid and not a particularly strong tree. The limbs grow so densely that the air cannot get through, which causes them to break. We have two more of these trees in our backyard. The only way to ensure this won’t happen is to trim the branches and create open spaces. When the tree company came to remove the tree, they trimmed all our other trees.

The removal of the tree was monitored by all the neighbors, since we were not yet home. It was a sad sight to turn the corner and not have our tree to greet us.

All that was left of the tree.

All that was left of the tree.

This machine removes stumps and roots. All that is left behind is a patch of dirt.

This machine removes stumps and roots. All that is left behind is a patch of dirt.

Tomorrow a new tree is being planted. It is a Pacific Sunset Maple, the arborist promises this one will be strong.


17 thoughts on “Another Day

  1. Judy C. says:

    Spending time with family, watching people and birds, meeting a fellow slicer and then BAM there goes the joy of the moment. So glad you got lots of joy in spite of the fallen tree. Thank God for wonderful neighbors who take care of things while you’re away.

  2. Tam says:

    You guys are on it when it comes to a new day–trees falling and planting new. Then to meet bloggers across the nation. What do you owe all your energy? Oat bran in the morning?

  3. This was a sad post. I love the way you described the colors sliding down the tree. Someday, I’ll have to share the redbud tree story from my teen years. So glad your neighbors took care of things for you and your house wasn’t damaged. How fun to meet Julieanne! Thanks for the noticing my note on Linda’s post and identifying the book for me! We”ll be waiting for pics of your new tree.

  4. So many lovely encounters…and then the tree. So sorry, Elsie – I know that sense of tree-loss well. How wonderful that you had a chance to meet Julieanne – great picture!

  5. Your bird pictures were wonderful….loved the caption of the one looking at you. 🙂 I love to people watch, too. You seem to be an expert at it. Glad you had neighbors that were so helpful about your tree. So sorry you could not save it, but glad you have pictures of its beauty. I am sure your new tree will bring joy and stories as it grows.

  6. Joyce says:

    I look forward to the pictures and stories of the new addition to your lovely yard. That sad story might have saved the back yard trees. I certainly enjoy reading about your many adventures…..and the surprises along the way.

  7. It is a shame about the tree. A few years ago we lost a white birch that grew proudly in our front yard. It too fell victim to a freak storm when we weren’t home. Glad there was no home damage.

    • Somehow part of my comment got lost. Let me try again…

      That tree! OMG, it was stunning! So sad that it’s gone. The new one will grow up, but will never take its place.

      LOVE another Slicer meet-up. That made my day!

  8. I always love seeing your pictures, love the one bird-beautiful, & the one with Julieanne-also beautiful! Sorry about the tree, Elsie. Their leaves are so spectacular. We had a silver maple that we finally gave up a few years ago. They just aren’t very strong I guess. The limbs kept breaking, too. So glad your home wasn’t damaged! What a trip of memories you’ve had!

  9. This slice brought me so much. First the pictures from the shopping center. I loved that astroturf. What a kid magnet t was. A joy to watch. And our great dinner. So glad to see this all again.
    But then BAM! The tree. What a beauty it was. So sad, but really how lucky you are to have people who are there at home for you. No surprise really, knowing you. Here’s to a new tree.

  10. This is some slice and what an ending! Loved the pics and documenting of your calm hang out, the meet up with Julianne and then the wow punch! Back home Storm that was taken care of by neighbors. Man, are you lucky to have such a real community of friends watching your back. BRAVO!!!!!!

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