Tuesday, March 5, 2013
I prefer to be treated well. I prefer not to feel threatend. I believe that I am likable, and people should like me. They certainly shouldn't seethe with hostility and resentment. That is just one set of beliefs that I am currently aware of, which are swirling around in my head and making up stories that I tell myself.
Today, I am having a dispute with the next door neighbor over our trees. He is having his trees trimmed and wanted to trim mine as well. He asked me months ago if he could trim all the trees off his property. We discussed what he wanted and I agreed - mostly because I know he is terrified of trees since one fell on his house* a few years ago. I even offered to pay half, which he declined. Good thing cause we don't even remotely have that extra money.
Today, he finally got around to scheduling the trimmers. Suddenly he wants major cuts in the pepper tree in our front yard. I don't know why people don't understand this but a tree is a LIVING THING. You can't just hack pieces off of it willy-nilly and expect it to survive. Even if it lives, it will be weakened and much more likely to break, fall, or drop branches under stress (i.e. wind). A tree doesn't understand property lines; it is simply growing the best way it can to get what it needs.
The law says that you can trim a tree over your property BUT you CANNOT cause it to be DAMAGED!!! If the tree dies, you're responsible.
But I can't wait around til his chainsaw crew chops my tree, then it falls over in a year or so and then sue him. By then the damage is done.
So when he got all unreasonable, and quite rude, this morning, I rushed in and called our own tree guy. Who is a CERTIFIED ARBORIST. Who studied trees in college. Who trims these trees regularly (which only needs to be every few years for a healthy tree). So our tree guy showed up like a hero, and explained to the crew in functional Spanish that I didn't want them to touch my tree. Those poor guys were already skulking around like dogs with their tails between their legs just trying to stay out of it all. They don't want any legal trouble. They readily agreed.
My tree guy will be back in an hour or so and professionally and safely trim the tree. There goes a cool thousand dollars of cash to this cause. I have no idea where that will even come from. Guess what? The pro says we can't even trim as much as I was willing to and had already agreed to. He says it's too much. I will have him document it in writing and mail it to my neighbor. Then I will try to continue to be friendly and neighborly - I think this guy's getting crazy as he ages.
You should see the poor trees in his yard now. They look like war survivors. I won't be at all surprised if one or more of them breaks or falls within the next year. They weren't well cared for to begin with.
And I will keep trying to take deep breaths and remind myself that if one has equanimity, things always turn out to be okay in the long run. No matter what opinions I might have right now.
*Now I understand why the tree was aiming at him; I'm almost sad that it missed.