Last look at an old, old friend

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This impressively sized stump is all that remains of the beautiful huge maple tree that made our front lawn lovely and shady when my family lived at the Manse way back when. The tree died quite some time ago, I guess; at any rate, it’s been nothing but a stump for the better part of two decades. I remember how shocked I was the first time I drove by the Manse on a “sentimental journey” into my past and saw that the landmark tree was no longer there; but it’s been so long since then that I’m pretty much acclimatized. Still, it’s so sad. It was a beautiful tree. But what can you do? You have to move forward. On the day we left the Manse this past long weekend, a chap was to come with a special saw and cut it down as low as possible. That is to be followed by a team that comes and grinds down the remains. And that is followed by a very hopeful sign: the planting of a new maple tree! We are going to get the biggest one we can afford, in the interest of seeing a real tree (as opposed to a twig) in place in fairly short order. Because, as my brother John says, we aren’t getting any younger and we don’t have any time to waste.

A new tree will be splendid. But we will always mourn the venerable tree that it replaces. It gave us shade, and a place to hang a swing for four young children, which was very important in the life of our young family in the mid-1960s.

And it gave us beauty. You can’t put a price on that.

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