It started as a typical Sunday.
5 AM - Alarm
8 AM (or just after) - Arrive at work
10:34 AM - Service begins
Noon - Service ends
1 PM - Lunch
3 PM - Home, sleepy, for a couple of hours before heading back. But before I crash ... gotta water my tomato plants.
Head to the back veggie garden, water the tomatoes. Slowly realize I am staring at a wall that I'm not usually staring at. It's on the other side of the street which runs in front of the house whose back yard backs onto our back yard. And I don't usually stare at it because there is usually a wall of foliage at the back of my back yard that blocks it.
Look around. Look up. Look down. Wasn't there something here? Did the neighbour behind me clear up foliage? Because I really thought there was something on my side of the old chain link fence. And when did this tree stump and fresh wood chips appear? Bewildered gestures, as I slowly realize - somebody cut down my tree!
No one is in the back yard into which I am now staring, a yard which I have never clearly seen before. Next door to them, a couple of adults are swimming in a new pool. Their back yard backs onto our garage, beside the vegetable garden. They don't notice me. Their foliage is mostly still intact.
I head inside, tell Spike, and we both stare in amazement from our kitchen through the hole to the other side. "What are ya gonna do?" he asked. "Well, I don't want to start a war," I said. "I guess I'll call the city tomorrow, and talk to by-law people and ask them how I should handle it."
I paused. "The people in the pool behind-and-beside might have seen something. Maybe I'll just ask them if they know anything."
Back outside, peer through their foliage and tentatively call towards the pool - "Hello? Hi. I know this is weird ... sorry ... it's just ... I had a tree here ... " another bewildered gesture ... "and I'm just wondering if you have any idea what happened?"
Lady shoots meaningful look to her husband, silently points at him, and he says, "Um ... I cut it down. I knocked, but no one was home."
"But ... it's ... why would you ... ??!!??" I ask in shock.
"It was just a weed," he says.
"I have a 7-inch tree stump here," I say.
"Well, yeah, but it was just one of those wild maples ... It just was sort of ... I knocked, but no one was home." He smiles shamefacedly. "Forgiveness? The good news is it'll grow back ... "
"Well ... sure, forgiveness ... I mean ... well, next time, maybe couldja get permission first??!!"
"Sure, yeah, sorry ... it just was kinda wild looking ... and I knocked, but no one was home ..."
"... OK, but it's just ... well, I value my privacy ...." I leave hanging the unspoken sentence that the reason we've never met is because of the wall of foliage. And the tree isn't even bordering his property at all. It's between me and his next-door neighbour. And it's MY WEED-TREE!!
So I head back inside, and Spike says, "Well, THAT'S not OK." "Well, it's done now," I say. And we go to sleep.
An hour later, a knock at the door. I ain't getting up for nobody but Spike answers, to a chorus of, "We're sorry! We're so sorry. We bought you a tree."
They introduce themselves, which brings the number of neighbours named Mike to 5. Spike sputters thanks and introduces himself, and they said, "Your wife was just so disturbed about her privacy. And she was just so nice about it, she didn't yell or anything. We're so sorry. We're sorry."
I went out and planted it at 6:30 AM today, chuckling to myself, because this is going to make a great post for my blog. I'll probably take over some pickled beets later today, as a gesture of forgiveness.
Guy directly behind us offered a rather startled "morning" as he came out his back door and saw me where a wall of foliage used to be. I suspect he's wondering what happened too. I'll let him find out on his own that his next-door neighbour had a moment of insanity and chopped down the foliage between us.
And here's the irony. It's a flowering almond. With, according to the tag, large bright pink double blooms. Pink.
I'm going to have to forgive him over and over again.