Trees here one day are trees gone the next

Here one day, gone the next.

A tree, that is. Make that two trees.

Having a couple of really, really tall trees cut down at long last not only changes the landscape, it stirs some tree memories as well, go figure.

This much I know now that the family homestead where I live has a barren front yard, thanks to the eradication of one monstrous pine tree my Grandpa Hout would have planted many moons ago when he lived there.

Why that tree was planted where it was I don’t know because it came to be a little too close to the house and a little too close to the road.

The view of it from across the road was evidence of how huge it had become over time and how it might not be such a bad idea for us to be proactive and have it cut down before Mother Nature decided something different, to do it her way at our inconvenience.

There has been some high-wind weather this past year that’s made me and Better Half more than a little nail-biting nervous, thinking there’s no good direction for this baby to go.

How many times I’ve looked out the upstairs dormer window closest to this towering pine, watching its limbs sway in a wind storm and thinking look out, Loretta. Please stay upright for just a little longer.

Now the view from that window is clear and bright. A fright-free zone. What a difference!

Gone, too, is the half-dead silver maple tree that was on the side of the house, one you’d see from the kitchen window, the view while doing dishes.

It was another one of those trees biding its time to make the switch from vertical to horizontal.

That tree was planted when my cousin Ronnie was 9 — a few birthday candles ago — and I don’t doubt the source of such information, given he is the keeper of dates just like my son Adam, who knows everyone’s birthday and is the go-to person when we struggle to remember what year we went somewhere or when did we do this and what year did we buy that any way.

The yard looks so different now minus those two trees, their memory preserved in pictures I texted to siblings for a before-and-after perspective.

It’s funny how it’s already become the new normal, a sight that sparks the thought that’s something’s different here. Oh, yes, the trees are gone.

The back yard used to have a lot more trees than it does now, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Some of the cherry tree came crashing into the back of the house in the 1980s. A cherry tree doesn’t make a yard a barefoot-friendly place so I can’t spill any tears over its departure.

A nice big ash tree toppled over during a storm in 2011, fortunately parallel to the house. History, too, are a beechnut tree and a smaller apple tree in the back, one I used to try to climb when my brothers chased me but was never fast enough to get past the first branch.

That’s not to say we’re entirely treeless around the Hout House.

We’re just trying to not branch out so much.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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