Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn....But Somehow Fell on Breckonwood?

It was a rainy day in Thornhill. Soft drops of wetness touched the ground and slipped off the still green Summer leaves on the mature trees outside our home. A dreary day that dictated a perfect time for indoor activities such as baking. As you know I am one of the owners of the largest vintage collection of bananas in the world. Each week Steve purchases two bananas. I eat one and a half per week for breakfast at the office therefore leaving a half a banana to ripen in the fridge. Once the banana is soft and black I remove it from the fridge compartment and place it in a plastic Ziploc in the freezer. My colleagues will occasionally question the contents of my banana bag. They often mention how mystifying they look next to the ice tray in the freezer. I see nothing unusual about my banana collection. Some people collect stamps and butterflies.......I collect bananas. Can one consume a stamp or a butterfly? I suppose, but would you not rather have something practical come of your gathering of rotten fruit?

I have a second collection at home as well. So on that particular Sunday I removed three frozen bananas from the freezer and placed them in the fridge to thaw with thoughts of putting together my famous moist and delicious banana chocolate chip bread.

Golfing in the rain. True golfers are all-weather. If you are serious about the game the conditions should be ideal no matter what they may be. I am not interested in doing anything in the pouring rain except for getting out of it. Steve had a 1:00 p.m. tee time at a local golf course while FO, MO & YO were booked to play on different courses throughout the City in the late afternoon.  With the house empty, I pictured myself having a serene, relaxing afternoon. A little bit of baking. A little bit of laundry. Maybe some writing. I said goodbye to Steve and made my way into the kitchen. YO and MO were in the family room while FO was on his way back from lunch with his buddies to retrieve his golf clubs and car which was parked on the street in front of the house. As YO rose from his usual spot on the couch to go upstairs and change into golf gear he let out a cry......

Oh My G-D!....THE TREE....THE TREE .....THE fell on FO's CAR !!!!!!!!!!!

Dropping my bananas on the counter I did the hundred yard dash to the front window which is still not covered with blinds or drapes. There in front of us was FO's vehicle. The back window completely crushed by a significantly large branch from the tree that graces the front of our property. Only weeks ago I spent 16 hours in a sweltering classroom learning how to deal with an emergency situation. Since there was no one hurt or anyone in the car I had to classify this as a scene where no human required first aid or CPR. It's a good thing because I broke every rule in the book that I learned and rehearsed.  I lost control of my senses. I did not remain calm. I did not know what to do first. I did not follow the ABC's (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) but instead recited a few other letters in the alphabet - mostly starting with S, F and one Mother F'ing Holy Hell reference.

It felt so good to release that anxiety....and better yet...I could because Reverend Steve does not condone foul language in the household. He only believes in swearing when it's necessary.... for instance when falling off a 10 foot ladder or misplacing an important item such as a wallet or cellphone. What the Reverend didn't expect was this.....he was not married to the church.....he was married to me.....and I was stuck with a large ash tree impaling FO's back windshield. So my first instinct was to call 911 but instead I dialed Steve's number.
Ring....Ring....Ring..... he answers.

"Hi Honey what's up", he says.

"Steve, there is an emergency, a LARGE TREE BRANCH has fallen off the tree and has crushed FO's car, you need to come home", I begged.

"That's the Municipality and file a report", he replied.

"File a report? Are you golfing yet?" I ask.

"Yes, I am just teeing off", he answered.

He's teeing off and I am standing in the street with a tree growing out of the back window of FO's car.

"Okay...have a great game....and I will take care of everything.....oh and thanks so much for all your help..... and sorry for bothering you on the golf course....while it's raining.... when you should really be here", I say cheerfully.

"No problem, speak to you soon sweetheart".....CLICK.

At this point I was starting to draw a crowd. My next door neighbour to my left, my neighbour across the street, my neighbour around the corner, my neighbour from the corner and some random nosey dog walkers all made their way over to do a STOP AND STARE at Ground Zero. MO and YO were also at the scene but they too were in a rush to prepare themselves for a 3 p.m. tee off with our next door neighbour Bob.

And where was FO? He was still out to LUNCH.....literally. He had no idea that he was about to see a tree growing from within his vehicle when he rounded the corner on his way home.

I quickly called the Town of Markham emergency dispatch and was greeted by a very nice young lady who heard my story of woe. She promised to send help from the Forestry department by 2 p.m.
What they sent me was this......two Parks Department guys ..... Laurel and Hardy.

They drove up in their nice shiney truck and stepped out to survey the damage. They then determined that there was a large tree branch that had fallen on FO's car. (what was their first clue?)
They then informed me that they were Fake Foresters (Double F's).

What that meant was was Sunday....there was no one else available so they pulled Laurel and Hardy (L & H) out of a local park where they were probably cutting grass with scissors to come to my rescue . Did they come with heavy equipment to move the tree branch? NO. Did they have the proper chainsaw to cut the tree into small pieces? NO. Did they have any idea what their plan of action would be? NO. Did they come with gloves so that they wouldn't chip their manicures on the sharp branches? YES.

While the two of them stood around looking at each other I thought it might be best to call FO to prepare him for what he was about to see when he arrived home. His reaction was similar to mine as I gave him the  GREEN LIGHT to go ahead and let it all hang loose because THE REVEREND was on the GOLF COURSE. Once he cleared his head and realized that I had everything under control he went inside, changed his clothes and went golfing too. So here I was all alone with a broken tree....L & H.......while the four men in my life went to chase their wet balls for the afternoon.

What I can do is tell you about the useful neighbours we have. Let's start with the guy across the street. If there was a personal ad for him it would go something like this:

WANTED - Quiet Neighbourhood to use my pneumatic drill in each morning.  Will build items of no importance all week. Wheelbarrel available if needed. Will work for beer.

Then there's the guy around the corner who is an ex-arborist ( tree specialist). He is a firewood collector. I believe his greatest assest is excess WOOD.
WANTED - Quiet neighbourhood to sneak around in all day with my truck. Will take the things that you think are garbage and make them mine. Tree trunks preferred.

So there was me, Laurel, Hardy, David and Bart. These were the key players on the rescue team. Bart (the ex-arborist) ran to his home to retrieve his chain-saw and rope while David ran to his house to get his chain-saw and his wheel barrel.

Which brings me to ask this question...... Do I feel safe in my neighbourhood?  Hell yes. I have two neighbours who own chainsaws and wheelbarrels. Why wouldn't I feel protected? If a tree falls on Breckonwood and your husband is golfing it's important to know random men with sharp tools.

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