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A while ago I was asked to create a likeable character in the first person who is the victim of a tree-change. Here he is…
Perhaps Sam should just settle for Lumberjack Cake…
When Audrey and I first bit the bullet and moved from the city to the country we were rural virgins – we’d heard about it, talked about it, read about it and knew it would eventually feel good if we could work out how to manipulate the angles. 20 years and 2 kids later, virginity now just a smirk where laughter once was, we still occasionally feel like babes in the woods and are still sometimes daunted by the necessities of small acreage life.
Like many before us, the first thing we did to our newly subdivided 15 acres was to plant trees – hundreds of trees. Gums, bottlebrushes, hakeas, wattles – you name it we planted it. That was twenty years ago. Funny thing about planting lots of trees when land is vacant, trees are $1 each, energy is high and foresight is low – you can’t envision the problems a 20 year old tree will cause. You don’t picture the leaves in the gutters. You don’t see the roots cracking the concrete of the grey water tank. You don’t predict that little stem turning into a two foot trunk. And it is this last eventuality which has been my most recent cause for daunt…
You see, the tree in question is threatening to side-swipe vehicles travelling on our driveway. In my defence, this one was not planted but self-sown. I’m not sure to what degree that renders me less stupid but thought it may be worth a mention. Anyhow, the time arrived last Tuesday afternoon to tackle the problem.
The last thing Audrey said to me was, “I need to leave in half an hour to get the kids.”
“OK”, I said, wondering what this had to do with me.
Anyhow, again, with chainsaw in hand and lumberjack intentions, I headed down the drive. I stared at the bushy 15m enemy, determined his falling direction and, with the tinge of sadness felt by pretend greenies, I proceeded to cut down the innocent gum secure in the knowledge that I was still several hundred trees in credit on the ledger and the wood would be used for winter fires. I had cut out the wedge which indicates the direction of fall and was about to execute the back-cut when the breeze gusted from the wrong direction. The tree fell across the driveway totally blocking it.
Audrey then drove down the driveway. After rolling her eyes at me, she rang a neighbour. “Jill, could you pick up our kids please?” She paused, then agreed with Jill’s statement. “Yes, Sam’s done it again.”
The Geelong Copywriting Blogger loves to give writing personality. If you need help with this, give him a call.