(continued from three earlier posts)In the spring of 2008 the melting snow revealed the ruins left behind by the plumbing repair. Using wheelbarrow and shovel we leveled the scattered heaps of dirt. We planted grass in “the scar” and the birch tree started growing leaves. The barberry bush that had spent the winter with its roots out of the dirt and under the snow looked like it might still have life so I stuck in back in the ground. It grew a few hopeful leaves. I filled in the empty spot in the garden with more flowers.
The place left by the removal of the section of the cement driveway became a mud hole every time it rained—much to the delight of small children. When the dirt was dry it was useful for entertaining little boys with toy trucks. Summer was well underway before we could get a concrete contractor to stop by on his way to bigger and more lucrative jobs. Construction equipment is a lot easier to employ when the weather is rotten. For that reason we were blessed that we needed a backhoe in December and not July. We were also fortunate that our homeowner’s insurance covered most of the cost.
Then, when the weather heated up in August, the leaves fell off the birch tree, despite our efforts to keep it watered. Our neighborhood tree doctor said it was a lost cause. In its weakened state it had been attacked by borer beetles and there was nothing that could be done to save it.