Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thank you for not letting a tree smash our truck.

Do you know who might deserve The Perfect Oatmeal Cookie?

Um, neighbors who don't let a tree fall on your truck, that's who.

So, once upon a time last week, there was this fun situation while Bubba was gone called, "Our Street Tree is About to Drop a Limb on Whoever is Parked in the Street When the Wind Blows".

It was precarious, to say the least.

See, our sad but lovely shade-providing street tree saw a few tumultuous early years before we were there to supervise and/or over water it. Apparently when it was planted as a vulnerable sapling, the former residents of our quaint home had a child or hairless monkey who liked to swing from its bendy and not-so-developed young branches with such frequency that it eventually grew one of its main branches more horizontally than vertically to accommodate this monkey child's swinging needs.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when our big 'ol street tree had a big 'ol limb hanging mostly horizontally out over the street at the exact moment that a brain-damaged meathead in charge of maneuvering a very tall four-panel truck down our street chose to look down at his CD player or pick something out of his pubes and all of a sudden WHAM!

There goes half the tree limb.

When I came home from work, the limb had been placed ever-so-gently on our sidewalk as though to say, "Hello, friend. Here is that tree limb you ordered. Enjoy!"


Then, a week later after Bubba was out of the country and I was on my way home from work, the tree met with another large but unidentified vehicle likely driven by another absent-minded hammerhead trying to assemble a ship-in-a-bottle or something equally distracting and ridiculous.

(I just refuse to believe that someone could be so idiotic as to be paying full attention to their driving AND still hit our beloved tree, so I'm choosing to imagine that these incidents were fraught with neglect, recklessness and sub-human intelligence.)

Anyhoo, after the last instance of vehicular limb destruction, our tree was left with something of a dangling and crooked arm. Something I didn't immediately notice because I was distracted by the dinner I was planning in my head and the freaking out the dog was doing at the front door since I was late taking her for her walk.

Thankfully one of our very nice neighbors came over to tell me that:

A. I should move the truck because a tree is about to fall on it and,
B. He is going to get his saw and ladder so could I please move the truck now.

He is a man of few, albeit meaningful, words.

I will admit, my first thought was "But what about my dinner I'm SO HUNGRY?", but then I realized that he was probably also not eating his dinner while sawing down my broken tree limb, so I should probably just get the keys and be glad I wasn't going to have to climb up on our ladder with the Sawszall and a death wish before or after my master planned meal.

We assembled in the street, my very nice neighbor and I, and I watched him hacksaw away at this gigantor limb while perched on his ladder, while I did little more than hold the ladder and try not to get in the way.

Just as I was starting to calculate the time it would take for me to then hack up the limb into acceptable Santa Clara County Yard Waste Removal sized pieces, two more neighbors emerged from their houses carrying tree trimming shears and push brooms and before I knew it, this previously aggravating and poorly-timed situation turned into another reason to love our neighborhood.

Much like the relocating of giant piles of dirt and bark mulch, this was not glamorous work, but for some reason, these very nice and also busy people with full time jobs and dinner on the table decided to come help Oh Woe Is Me in her time of tree falling need by gathering their tools and taming The Tree Limb Named Destruction.

It was very heart-warming and also effective since, in the time it took for the three (four, if you count useless Me) of us to cut down, saw and sweep into a pile this giant branch, two police cars and a fire engine showed up to help another house with a tree limb issue.

It was a windy week.

Anyway, I think it was that moment that brought home the magnitude of the situation for me. Specifically, I have rad neighbors that are aware of and seem to care about our comings and goings to the point where they'll go the extra mile to help a sister out when her strapping husband is traveling and, thus, away from his trusty Sawzall.

Despite the fact that we're not the cookie-cutter couple with the two kids and the regularly scheduled Sunday church going and the rules about drinking before 5pm, they'd still rather not watch a tree fall on our truck.

Well, not all the neighbors are like this, but the ones that count anyway.

Anyway, the neighborliness inspired a bit of baking, and since Thimbleanna just posted a recipe for the most perfect looking oatmeal cookies, I set out to make them for our neighbors who didn't let a tree fall on our truck.

For the ones who just sat idly by and made snarky comments about, "Hey that's a nice tree limb on the sidewalk. I bet that'll be a bitch to cut up for the yard waste people.", well, they might get paper bags on their doorstep but it will probably be heavy with something other than oatmeal cookies and it may be on fire.

Just saying.

But for the good ones, they got perfect oatmeal cookies and Bubba thanked them for saving his truck/wife. And then they didn't didn't even say a word about our 2pm cocktail hour.

Those are some good neighbors.


  1. Despite the fact that oatmeal cookies are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE, if I was your neighbor I would have been taken just by the beautiful packaging of said cookies. I am a SUCKER for packaging. Nice job. Nice neighbors!

  2. Fabulous packaging Ms. Finny!!! What a great idea! Did the cookies turn out ok? They sure look like they did -- I always wonder what other climates/elevations will do to a cookie/cake recipe. And holy cow are you ever funny -- I'm pretty worried about the activities of the naked truck drivers in your area!

  3. love the garden pictures!! my stuff is only just starting up.... the cucumbers are so cute and prickly! , i hope i get some one my plants, too!

  4. The only thing that would have made this story more perfect would have been some photos, woman! How can we live vicariously if you don't give us the piccys?
    Still, if I was your neighbour I would have gnawed through that darn tree with my bare teeth for those cookies and their fine packaging!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.