Up in these parts, w’re such slaves to mindless tradition that, year after year, we all rake our leaves in the fall. No imagination.
This year I did it in a big way. I took out the whole tree.
Yes, it’s gone. Today dawned rainy, with scattered thunderstorms, and I thought, “Blast it. The tree guy’ll never take my tree down in weather like this. Somebody could get gaussed by lightning.”
But he called me at work in the morning and told me he’d have it out by noon.
Mark you, this is the low bidder. Lower by about $300 than anybody else I talked to. But he got in there and hustled, and the tree was gone before the clouds cleared. (And yes, he is licensed and insured.)
It’s good to have the Sword of Damocles retracted from my place of residence, believe me. Still, I’ll miss the old tree. For a long time I thought it was an ash. This pleased me, because the ash tree is central to Norse mythology. In the Norse system, the universe itself was a great ash tree, and like mine it was a little sick, with things gnawing at it, requiring care and nutrition.
However, it turns out to have been some odd kind of elm (it never matched any of the pictures I found in tree identification web sites, which is what confused me).
That makes the loss easier to bear. The increased air conditioning costs, due to reduced shade, will hit me in the summer.
I read Brad Thor’s Blowback over the weekend. I don’t think it rates a long review. Enough to say that I like the politics (the president seems to be a fictionalized version of George W. Bush, and his political nemesis is a very nasty female Democratic senator with presidential aspirations, whose initials are H.R.C.). It was fast-moving, like a Roger Moore James Bond movie, and about as substantive. The characters had all the depth of Murine eye drops.
Not bad for recreational reading, when you’re waiting for a plane or something, but I’d prefer conservative fiction with a little more substance.
I’ll be gone for a week starting tomorrow. I’ll check in from Minot and Høstfest if I get a chance. Pictures when I get back, perhaps, so you can share the aesthetic delights of Norwegian-sweater-and-cowboy-hat couture.