Monday, November 21, 2011

Somebody Please Tell My Stupid Tree It's November

I grew up with a mom who loved trees.  My parents' first house was across the street from our elementary school, and every day at recess I saw my mom out in front.  She would be planting, nursing, and tending to her flock of baby oaks.  They were barely more than twigs.  I can't quite describe it, but there was also some trick she did with tent stakes and pantyhose that was somehow designed to keep her trees safe and sound from the destructive forces of Midwestern winds.

The other kids would laugh at the crazy tree lady and her pantyhose.  I of course denied any lineage.  I was the Judas of the first grade.

Long after she moved away and all her children were grown, my mom would drive by that first house and visit her now-majestic oaks.  They are mature and beautiful trees, and they add a lot of character to that tiny little house across the street from the school.

I of course hate trees.  I don't know if it was subconscious or not, but I selected a house with only one tree on the entire lot.  I love the sun, avoid the shade, and thrive during the long beautiful days of summer.  I love light.  So I look out my window each year and wait for my big stupid tree to shed its stupid leaves so I can enjoy the final hints of sunshine this time of year.

Dum-Dum refuses to cooperate.

Just have a look at every other tree on my block:

All of my neighbors have smart and cooperative trees.  They've been out for weeks, taking advantage of the mild days of November to rake up leaves and prepare for the long winter ahead. 

Then there's my tree:

I know exactly how this will play out.  My tree will finally shed her leaves the day before the first snowfall.  She's the Nostradamus of Chicago winters and a great predictor of weather.  So my husband and I will be out there in hats, coats, and gloves in a desperate attempt to get everything raked up before the inaugural blizzard of 2011.  Sometimes, we lose.  Regardless, all our neighbors think we're huge idiots who refused to rake their leaves on an earlier, more sensible day.

To them, I say:  stupid tree, stupid tree.


  1. I am buying you a baby tree for your birthday and some pantyhose. We can plant it together. I'll invite your Mom.

  2. There is a simple answer: Shop vac.

  3. my trees are smart and cooperative. they shed when the are supposed to. This backfires for me (born under the zodiac sign of Procrastiquarius) because I want to take an artsy photo of my stunning red-leafed tree, and oops--too late!-- it already dropped all its leaves. Can I have your Dum-Dum tree? we might be made for each other.


  4. I think your tree is just hanging onto its leaves as long as it can so it can stay warm (writes the human snuggled in a blanket with his puppy at his feet who is being forced against his will to get outta the house to run the store for a few hours brrrrr..)

  5. The nerve of your tree...keeping it's leaves, lol. A couple of neighbors have the same problem with their rebellious trees.

    In regards to your mother taking care of the trees, I love returning to a previously owned home, only to see the beautiful burning bushes that I painstakingly took care of, ripped out. Or the weedless flush lawn full of weeds and uncut. Another post perhaps. I would love to go into some of my old abodes. One Southside parade day, years ago, some ladies, oh late 40's early 50's which in my eyes is a youngster, walked by gazing at our home. Finally (thinking they were gazing at me, again another post perhaps), I realized they weren't gazing at me, but gazing at the house which they said they grew up in. I should of invited them in our house but didn't. I mean how would that have sounded? (to a perfect female stranger)do you want to come into my house?

  6. Anonymous - I'm not answering the door.

    Skwishee - Keep talking....

    MOV - The second I hack the thing down, it's all yours. And Procrastiquarius?? I'm so using that.

    esbboston - So what do you think? Do I buy my tree a Snuggie?

    Maplewood - Oh, that would have destroyed my mom (seeing all her work gone). I'm so sorry. I bet you those women would have taken you up on your offer! My mom used to get invited in by subsequent owners of the house she grew up in when they caught her stalking it. I have an open invite to any of the 10 kids to come and check out our house (we updated and did an addition). One of the kids (hearing about our plans) had said, "Oh, mom would have loved to have seen that." I hope we did her house proud.

  7. Plant a money tree that can also babysit children. Which one would you chose first?

  8. I left you something on your porch to take care of your
    tree. You can return it later.

  9. SF - I'll take the child care tree!

    Anonymous - I'm still laughing and thanks for the blog entry for tomorrow! You rule.