Category: pine trees

Life’s Lessons Crashing Around You

Last night while watching some unremembered show on the television, there was a huge, crashing sound. There was no severe weather, or even a mild wind. Even so, we knew immediately that it was a pine tree giving up the ghost.

Pine trees are like that. They go down easily compared to other trees. In the state of Georgia it is almost impossible to buy a house without pine trees threatening your life. We have learned to live with them, but wise people have the things cut down.

Daylight revealed that the tree had broken at almost ground level, and that its’ trunk was hollow. Yes, it had live branches, but its core was rotten. A pine can look perfectly healthy this minute, and can kill you in the next.

There’s a lesson in here, somewhere. People can be like pine trees, outwardly appealing but rotten at the core.  How many people have you known like that? Admittedly, I have known only a few of that ilk, and I have learned to stay away from people who call me buddy, and men who hug a lot.

One lesson learned is to stay away from pine trees, especially when the wind is blowing. Pines are sneaky vegetables, and can do you great harm. After all, they are all food for the paper mill and they know it.

The most important lesson learned is that pines and people can be no damned good. Stay away from both if you can, and make sure your core is solid.

If The Post Office Goes Out Of Business…

Do I still need that mailbox on my curb? Why, of all times, is the US Postal Service talking about curtailing service? Last weekend, I had to install a new mailbox, and now am suffering from the leaning mailbox syndrome.

You see, it all started with my concern about a couple of pine trees that were next to my driveway. In Georgia pines are not considered real trees, but more like weeds in the tree family. You cannot get rid of the things, and when a good wind comes along they are likely to fall on your house or car. Even with insurance, you are still in for a world of hurt with your insurance company as you try to get new dining tables, carpets and china out of a pine tree experience.

So, I contracted with a fly-by-night tree company to get four pine trees out of my yard. When they finally showed up on a Saturday morning, they yanked my existing mailbox out of the ground, and propped it against the garage door because it was in their way. My precious mailbox had been in the ground for twenty years doing its job. It was partially rotted, and did not re-install very well.

In my estimation those tree guys cheated me out of at least two years worth of mailbox life before I had to replace it. My trashy looking mailbox was the subject of some controversy in the neighborhood, but I refused to go all decorative. I was going for the mailbox longevity record.

I went to Home Depot and had a pow-wow with a clerk who was an expert on mailbox installations. I was anti-digging and anti-concrete. Lazy was a word to describe my attitude. My new mentor went right along with the idea, and I wound up with a no-dig mailbox post, along with a new black, shiny mailbox. All I had to do was to drive a steel stake into the ground, and fit the top of the stake into a pre-drilled hole in the bottom of the  new wooden post.

Yeah, sure.

Equipped with hammer and level, I commenced the job. Let me say that there is no way to keep a steel stake perfectly vertical while pounding the hell out of the thing with a hammer. Plus, the heavy cedar post seems to make up its own rules when it comes to a lean/no-lean attitude.

Yep! My new mailbox leans to one side. Of course, this is extremely embarrassing because all my neighbors have nice, perfectly vertical mailboxes with cute little wrought iron or otherwise decorative posts. Gheeez!  What a bunch of anal retentive perfectionists.

I guess I will have to wait another twenty years to replace this mail box, or the US Postal Service can just go out of business and I can yank the damned thing out of the ground.