Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today I am a Tree Hugger!

Now I am not your typical tree hugger and I am certainly not a country girl by any means. I am a city girl married to a country boy - so a real City Slicker. (ggod movie!) Though, I have grown up with a certain appreciation for nature, not just as God's beautiful creation, but how it affects our emotions with each memory lived within it.

I have wonderful memories being at our family's campsite, picking rocks, having campfires, tenting out. I remember going on short nature walks with my Grandma Ludy behind her house. I remember my Uncle Tom inviting me to go with him and my cousin Jessica on my first and only boundary waters canoe trip. Really roughing it. I remember many occasions using an outhouse or whole in the ground, or not even that! I love the feeling nature brings to me when I am surrounded by its beauty.

Well, when I was about 14 my parents moved us into the country - Cold Spring MN in central minnesota - a rural area with hills of granite and a chain of 16 lakes. You might of heard it on the news for my high school, ROCORI, which had a school shooting a few years back. Anyways, I said what am I going to do here? Anything worth doing is a 30 minute drive away. Mom said confidently, Melissa you will meet some girls who will take you horseback riding, we'll take boat rides out on the lake we'll live on, and someday you'll meet a country boy or farmer to marry! OMG - that was it, I thought I would lose it right there. But you better believe it, it all came true, right down to marrying a farmer's son. And now I have a better appreciation for this country lifestyle.

So when my husband and I had been looking for a new home closer to the city limits, we found this nice quaint neighborhood on the outskirts of town, just 5 miles from his parent's farm. The house and the yard were picturesque and we loved that even though the neighbors houses were very close to ours, we had this beautiful row of pinetrees out back to give us privacy from the senior apartments behind us. Now mind you, we have some decent but not favorite neighbors next to us. We've had our differences, but it's been over a year without too much trouble.

Just when I has agreed to take it easy and just worry about playing with my kids, I awoke this morning to the sound of a chainsaw in my back yard. Now I knew that the apartments owned the land that included a row of pinetrees behind our home as well as about 10 feet of land past them up to ours. They had never taken care of it since contruction, mostly because they couldn't see past the trees. They had given us permission to maintain and landscape it since we were the only ones seeing it. We took out many dead trees, killed the weeds, and were making plans to add edging and red mulch as our neighbors had. We had heard rumours that they would be coming this summer to trim out the dead trees and thin them out a bit to allow for new and better growth. Fine.

But NOTHING had prepared me for this sight. Not only had they decided to take down a whole row of mangy looking trees on their side of the "privacy fence" but they also cut every branch from the ground up to about 4 1/2 feet high!!!! Leaving big 4-6 foot gaps between trees. I was so irate I was crying, shaking and felt like throwing up. Yes, that upset. Never would have 'thunk it until that moment. I ran out whistling at him, asking him to spare the lower boughs on our side. Nope, it's not our property and the decision had been made.



This will look more bare once they come back to clean it up and cut some more.

It looks like this, and it is still not cleaned up.

They just left it for who knows how long. So now we have to pay for shurbs or a privacy fence and landscaping for property that isn't even ours. Almost 20 feet by 120 feet!

So now we have this neatly trimmed, but very bare row of pines. I just know my kids won't see it as a fence any longer. They will long to run into the open yard of the apartments. The dogs that wander on the otherside I fear will decide to wander into ours. It just makes me sick that they didn't even talk to us about it. It ticks me off that they are not even going to maintain or landscape this newly baren land. They are just going to let the weeds grow as they please. Unless of course "we" want to take care of it. We are still allowed to landscape "their" property. The nerve.

Our property line is about 1-2 feet past the grass, the rest is theirs, and they don't plan to take care of it.

My husband is at work while I am calling him in frustration and anxiety. He intends to talk to the devlopment lead and apartments to figure out some sort of compromise with money for landscaping. Otherwise it's just plain ugly and unsecure. We paid good money, extra money, to have this privacy - to only have it taken away within a year.

So in conclusion, I thought we had finally found our quiet place to live for the next 20 or more years, a development full of mostly older and retired couples who care about their lawn, their privacy, and respect nature... boy were we wrong.

I would say more, but I will just have to offer it up!

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