weeping willow


By weeping Emmet

I could have been killed.
After listening to the end-of-the-world predictions all day from the hurricane zealots at the Weather Channel regarding Hurricane Sandy, I took to my bed to await the final moments of the planet.
I had heard the Weather Channel acting troupe cry wolf before, but “Sandy” really did sound serious. I remembered that “Sandy’ was the adopted name of Paul Harrigan when he lurched through the Rockland bars, looking for women. But I digress.
There I was in my Doctor Denton’s, hiding in my bed from Hurricane Sandy. The wind was howling. I was listening to a Boston sports station on my iPod, but even I could hear that noise. The house shook.
Then there was a new, tearing noise. I thought the barn roof, always precarious, had left the premises.
I grabbed a pair of pants and one of the dozen flashlights I keep on hand at all times. I ran downstairs and found a tree branch in the driveway. Luckily I had parked by gleaming Honda Accord at the side of the house. I was worried about that ash tree. In Fact, I had called the town a week earlier to warn that the ash was shedding some heavy braches on the street.
But it wasn’t the ash tree. And it wasn’t a branch. It was the 60 foot weeping willow that had snapped off at the roots. It was my lucky day. It missed my bedroom and bed. It missed the barn. It missed the telephone and power lines. It fell the only place it could do no serious damage.
But it did close down Cobb Road, no question. I looked under the massive tree to see if there were any victims. Nothing.
In short time, the police, and then the Camden DPW crew came. Within an hour the tree was cut into manageable pieces then bulldozed to the side of the road. The next morning, the crew returned to cut the tree into smaller pieces, then carted it off in a dump truck.
I had expected the ancient ash to collapse any day. I came home last week and there was a pile of sawdust chunks at the bottom of the tree and there was what looked like a scorch mark right down the middle. The town tree officials came and decreed that it was not lightning, but woodpeckers which had caused the sawdust pile.
It has not been determined whether the deteriorating ash tree will be removed, too.
I didn’t think it was possible but I miss my willow tree. It is much too bright out there now. And I liked driving under the willow branches as I pulled in the driveway. It gave Cobb Manor a certain elegance. Believe me; Cobb Manor needs all the elegance it can find.
I can’t complain. I could be calling the insurance company today about a crushed Honda or a destroyed barn. Imagine if the willow came down when a school bus was driving by. Judging by the rotted roots, it could have fallen any day, hurricane or not.
After watching the quick and efficient work by the Camden DPW crew, I promise not to complain about paying my taxes next week.
After all, I could have been killed.