Good-bye to an Old Friend


It was a grand old American elm.  I have written about it often, for it protected the house’s west flank . . . for 12 years.  I always said we’d move if we lost it.  It succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease last fall.  Today we had “the funeral” – Larry Steidl’s Tree Service came in and brought it to the ground in a little over a half hour.  I videoed, for posterity, some of its final minutes:

So, what’s the big deal?  Valuable blog space dedicated to a tree?  Danielle has it right:



[ . . . for they provide shelter from the sun.]


[“The hearse” arrived about 11:oo this morning.]


[Neighbor Arnie and “the undertaker” discussed proper burial procedures.]


[The vehicle is positioned for the procedure.]


[And up he went in the bucket.]


[Limbs were falling in a cluster beneath him.]


[Little was said at a time like this . . .]


[What is there to say? . . .]


[Besides, he’s wearing ear protection and holding a very noisy chainsaw.]


[From the safety of the front deck.]


[Up close and personal.]


[I wanna take you higher . . .]


[And higher.]


[Less than a half hour and this is all that’s left.]


[Arnie and Jo walk in the background as the bucket has done its job.]


[Thank goodness the air traffic controllers are back in the job, because a flight plan was necessary to land the bucket back on top of the truck.]


[We thought about leaving a high stump in case the next owners wanted to do a chainsaw sculpture but were advised against it.]


[Cutting to the quick.]



[And it’s over . . .]


[Before I went out, I guessed it was 60 years old . . .]


[I could clearly count 55 rings – it became difficult close to the bark and near the center to discern distinct rings.  I’m going to guess, based on our long and respectful association, that we arrived on the planet on the same day, some 65 1/2 years ago!  🙂  ]


[A tear is shed . . .]


[R.I.P., old friend.]


[By this afternoon, remains just drying in the sun . . .]


[Amid a few remaining snow and ice clusters in the yard.]


[DOM, in Indiana, submitted this as part of a Spring (?) salute to Canada, under the impression that this guy in the Pope hat looks like me.  Little did he know – or the supervisor, for that matter – that the long revered goatee came off on Saturday night.  As a result, I discovered that I have no lips but two extra chins.  The goatee may be back before you know it!]


[But it hasn’t been all gloom and doom lately.  On Thursday, the supervisor and I drove all the way to the Peak for dinner.  Every once in a while we decide to throw caution to the wind and actually take a vehicle trip of more than 5 miles.  😉 ]


[And then on Saturday, our BFF, Lisa Lynn, paid her monthly visit to SAWA.  When we arrived, Lisa greeted us by saying she had reserved two tables up front for us and . . . Julie and Matt Veline, who were coming with the owners of Eddy’s, and with Shelly Karnis.  Matt later told us he and Julie are only performing once a month now, at Eddy’s, and that he is Lisa’s biggest fan.  So, it was pretty neat (as we say in the music business) when the Veline’s joined Lisa for a couple of songs.  Shelly has a foreground cameo in a couple of the videos, no doubt to her chagrin, and Karen Berg* has a photo op cameo in “The Weight.”  Lisa forgot the words during “Hotel California” (it happens), so I asked if I should still put it on YouTube.  She said go ahead – a little comic relief.  And Matt, who was playing Lisa’s guitar, had a long solo in the song – and the guitar went out of tune . . .]

“Wish You Were Here”:


“The Weight”:

[* We actually didn’t sit at the table Lisa so thoughtfully reserved for us.  For when we arrived, we noticed Karen and Dave Berg at a table.  Last year was pretty much their first full year at the golf club, and though they still have a home in the Cities, they have a place on Lake Carlos in the summer.  This was their first time ever at SAWA, and they were just there to check it out as an eatery.  Lisa turned out to be an added bonus for them, just as the Veline’s joining her was an added bonus for us.  Great fun night for all!]

“Hotel California”:


High school ball this week?

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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1 Response to Good-bye to an Old Friend

  1. Fran says:

    Deconstructing the elm tree…do you the face deep inside the log? Who dat?

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