Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot

Well, it's not that bad, but I feel like it's just as drastic. Our backyard trees are GONE -- thanks to a construction project courtesy of our county. The final project will be good for the community, I'll admit; it involves adding sidewalks, streetlights and a bike path to what is now a very busy and dangerous road (that happens to run directly behind our backyard). But during the course of the next six months or so, Kibi is going to have almost no place to play.

Above, you can see the before and after pictures. (You'll see Kibi playing by the fence and in the background there are, in fact, some trees. Well, rest assured they'll be cut down this week too.) I'm sort of peeved because the tree removal company wasn't exactly helpful during the process of cutting down all the trees yesterday: first of all, although the project manager informed us it would eventually happen (more than a year ago), we got no warning that it was actually happening yesterday. Kibi and I weren't home at the time, so imagine my surprise when we got home. What's worse, because we weren't home, apparently the contractors took it upon themselves to enter our backyard patio, shove all the furniture, toys, etc. (including Kibi's play house) unceremoniously into a pile in the corner, and then tear down all the things we had hanging in our trees -- windchimes, a wind sock that I still can't find, a bird house, and worst of all: Kibi's beloved swing. We spent the entire afternoon cleaning up the mess, and sighing about the barren landscape. Now, we look out our living room glass doors and see this major road, only about 15 feet away. It's really weird. And pretty ugly.

It was really when I saw Kibi's swing, cast aside under the piles of wood chips, that the magnitude of losing all our trees really hit me. Not to get too melodramatic about it, but it's really traumatic. For the last seven years (as long as we've been in this house), we've taken for granted the privacy, shade, and plain old serenity that our backyard canopy of trees provided. And when Kibi came along, we used our favorite old tree for endless swing rides, feeling safely tucked away in the protection of our back yard trees. Now it's all gone - and our patio (and house) is exposed for the world to see. I feel like everyone who passes by on this busy road is looking at my underwear or something. It's an odd feeling.

Fortunately, the county promises us a privacy wall as well as whatever kinds of replacement trees we want. Unfortunately, you don't have a lot to choose from when you're talking about new, replanted trees. We're probably going to go with arbor vitae or something that provides the best screen.

OK, I'll stop whining now. But I feel better having had the opportunity to do a little venting to mourn the loss of some dear friends.

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About Me

Arlington, VA, United States
Maestro and mom to a wee virtuoso

I'm #1804