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We woke up this morning to the first dusting of snow at 6100 ft. In other words, there was snow on the ground outside my door this morning and not just higher up on the hillsides and mountains. It feels a bit early this year. I always have it in my mind that the big shift officially happens just around Halloween, when the kids have to go out in their costumes and end up toughing it out and freezing, rather then putting on a jacket that might impede their look.

Along with the first snow, we had a bit of a shock this week. I woke up on Tuesday to a power outage in my neighborhood. Later that day our power company knocked on the door to inform us that the source of the outage was our front yard! Of about 200 something houses, it was my front yard!!! I won’t go into the stories of what has transpired over the several years of living in this house, but suffice it to say my friends immediate response was, "Hasn’t your house seen enough trauma!"  I keep sending loving healing energy to this beautiful land, but I am ready to call in the Shamans.

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I bit my tongue and slithered inside, just about the time that they said they were going to have to dig right in front of our gorgeous 50 year old poplar tree. This is when it’s time to call in the guy and let him talk mano y mano with the machine operators.  That’s Andy out there in the blue sweatshirt. I just couldn’t bear it, and when I saw the size of the roots they proceeded to dig up, I said a prayer for our tree, which I think has seen it’s last days. By the time they finished digging, I could barely see the guys head at level ground. 

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It is honestly almost too much for me to bear to know that we are going to lose this beautiful tree. I must come by this naturally because as when I was growing up in New York, we had a stand of gorgeous pink and white dogwood trees. The city knocked on our door and informed my parents that they were going to plow right through them to put in a line for some citified type thing.

Well, my dad and mom freaked out. And I mean freaked! My father threatened to chain himself to the tree. He said they could cut the trees down around him, and then proceeded to call the investigative reporter of the day, Geraldo Rivera, begging for his help. Please keep in mind it was the 70’s!  Needless to say Geraldo never called back and the trees came down, which was about as sad a thing as anyone could imagine. I remember our yard looked barren and cold and I am having flashbacks as I think of what this piece of property will look like if the tree does not survive.

If there is one saving grace in all of this, it is that my friend Laura-who is a very talented landscape architect-suggested we wait until next spring to landscape the exact area where they are digging. True story! We were going to do it this fall, but with the book on the burner, I could not take that on.

When the backhoe fired up, I did think of calling my dad to see if he wanted to give the chain idea a second attempt, but Julia Butterfly I am not this time around. All I can do is have some lengthy conversations with my tree when this is all over, and hope it has the strength to carry on.

As for coming by it naturally, here is a photo of my parents when they announced their engagement and one of me during an early fall hike. Beginning to see a theme?

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