Home Ownership Rocks/Sucks Living Life

“A Tree Falls the Way it Leans; Be Careful which Way You Lean”

When we closed on our house, the first things the boys did was hang from and attempt to climb the tree.

Tree on Move In Day
Note: Holy moly, have they grown in a year!

Over the past year and not-quite-four-months, we’ve made a lot of memories under that tree. They’ve learned to climb the tree. They’ve gotten stuck in the tree. We painted a robot underneath the tree’s branches.

They’ve searched for blue gold as pirates. And built fort after fort. They’ve sprayed the hose while playing firefighter.

Playing Under the Tree

We’ve hung out with friends.

Friends and the Tree

We’ve read many a book.

Reading Under Our Tree

And today…

Tree Down

She’s in pieces. The wind came up so quickly, so suddenly. We knew the storm was making its way in our direction, but it moved faster than we anticipated. Suddenly, the whole house sounded as if it might take leave of its foundation. I stood at the stove, spoon hovering over the pan as I heard, “Our tree broke!” I ran to the living room to see BigBrother standing at the window, a look of sadness on his face.

Sad BB

And it was. Broken. Our tree.

The Tree from the Front

Closer Still

Talking to Friends

In the grand scheme of bad weather luck, this is not the worst that could have happened. Our backyard neighbors suffered far worse as one of their trees landed on their house. We have minor roof damage from the wind, but nothing major. We are lucky. We are blessed.

Eat Ice Cream When You're Sad

But we’re still sad. We nursed our wounds on some ice cream this evening, sitting on the porch as the golden sun came out from behind the clouds and began to sink into the most glorious of sunsets.


My husband pulled me into his arms later. “We’ll plant a new one. Whatever you want.” Others pointed out that the new tree will grow with the boys; it will be their tree. Both boys got excited about whatever new tree we’ll plant and how they’ll love it and climb it… except that by the time it’s climbing-size, they won’t be interested in climbing it or playing ninjas in its branches or painting robots or putting out imaginary fires or sitting underneath the branches on a warm summer evening on The Very Hungry Caterpillar blanket while reading and cuddling and tickling and laughing so hard we all cry a little bit. Or pee.

Yes, we’ll plant a new tree, but I’ll miss this tree and all it meant to our family for the short time we had it in our lives. We’ll make new memories around and, eventually, under a new tree. We’ll lean on one another while we watch it grow.

11 replies on ““A Tree Falls the Way it Leans; Be Careful which Way You Lean””

Yes, being safe is key. Right as it went down and BB yelled, we did the mandatory trip to the basement. It was pretty scary and tense there for a few minutes, so we’re grateful it wasn’t worse.

When I first saw the picture, I shouted “Oh NO!” DH came running. Ooops. It was a beautiful tree. I’m glad you are all safe and take peace from the fact that you enjoyed it to the fullest while you had it. Hugs!

We sure did enjoy the heck out of that tree, I’ll give you that much. It’s like we knew we had a limited time with it, so we just did EVERYTHING around it.

Oh man. This made me so sad. :(

I’m so glad you’re safe, I’m so glad it wasn’t worse, but I’m still so sad that you lost that tree. It’s okay to be sad about a loss of something so beautiful and perfect and wonderful, even when others around you have lost more. It’s still a loss. It’s still hard.

And the way you write about your husband makes me absolutely adore him.

“It’s still a loss. It’s still hard.”

I do so love you. I’ve been in and out to take snapshots of the cutting of the tree this morning. My husband has been working on the fallen side that’s on the ground. He’ll have help with the still-standing part this afternoon into the evening. Every time I go outside, I’m just overcome with this weight of… yes, loss. We loved that tree.

And yes, he’s pretty awesome. You’ll get to meet him as well. He loves him some BlogHer!

If you are looking for a tree suggestion, I would recommend a tulip. ALthough they don’t make the best climbing tress, they are SO pretty in the fall and grow fairly quickly…

Sigh… This is a beautiful post that very tenderly registers what the tree meant to your family. I already wrote to you on fb with links to when our tree broke back in 2011 when we had a freak blizzard on October 28. And I later found out that the Bradford pear is (in)famous for breaking like that. :( I hope you get a different tree to replace it. Our tree broke again on March 6 this year and I didn’t even blog about it.

I’m very sorry about the birds too. :(

Sorry about the tree. We got hit by the same storm system at our home northeast of Pittsburgh. My in-laws lost an apple tree that night. (My husband and his dad cut it up today.) My sister-in-law told us that back in high school she had to befriend a tree for two weeks for an English class project, and she had befriended the tree that was just lost. At the time, she had named it Bob.

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