February 4, 2009

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This is our house last April, right after having it painted the utterly perfect green color.  To the left is our ginormous apple tree, a few blossoms open.  Little did we know this would be the last spring for this marvelously productive tree.

We worried about the apple from the moment we moved into the house.  Someone had done some very strange shaping and the enormous root system made it appear as though the tree was planted about eight feet from it’s current location, then snaked on the ground to the right spot and allowed to grow, and grow, and grow.  The tree was tall and made tons and tons of apples.  I spent many a day lining them up along the front wall, ready for any passerby who had a hankering.  Then there was the time contemplating recipes for cider, apple butter, apple sauce, apple muffins, apple crisp, apple pie, apple cake, triple apple cake!  Sometimes it made my head spin.

Then, one day about a month ago, I was out front weeding and felt a certain springiness.  Had it been a spring in my step, I wouldn’t have worried.  I’m that kind of gal.  As I walked closer to the crazy roots, it increased, and I noticed a hole, small, but enough to signal trouble.  The tree was starting to heave out of the ground.  Thankfully it lasted through the awful wind storm.  Having it topple then would have been a rather big bummer.

This is our yard without it, a gaping space of light and emptiness.  I cried the day the men cut it down.  It had provided so much for us – a riot of beautifully scented blooms, a place to watch and feed the wildlife, shade, secrecy, wonderfully crisp apples, the opportunity to share with friends and strangers.  Thankfully there is always a silver lining.   It opens up the view of the house and provides us with the space for me to indulge in a sometimes obsessive love for cherries, especially the tart kind that are great for pies and drying.  Now I can have my very own tree!  I hope there is a dwarf variety to suit our small front yard.  I don’t want a repeat.  Think good thoughts, won’t ya?