Let It Go

About a month ago, we learned that the big, old oak tree in our back yard was diseased and dying.  We’d been worried about its health for a while.  We also knew that if the tree fell down of its own accord it would fall either directly on our garage or the neighbor’s garage, and probably also hit one of our houses.  Safety comes first, so we called a local tree company and arranged to have the tree taken down.

Last week the removal crew showed up, positioned a big crane in our driveway and went to work.  The job took about five hours, and I was impressed with the way they worked until the the foreman announced that they were done for the day, casually adding, “You’re going to have some wood in your yard for a while.”  He explained that they could only remove the limbs small enough to fit in their chipper and that another crew would be along later to collect the trunk and bigger limbs.   When I inquired as to exactly what he meant by “later” he assured me that it was usually only a couple of days, but added that he couldn’t guarantee that timeline.

61CAD860-FB5D-463A-A574-94E3070DD4B9_1_201_aA quick survey of the yard revealed a stack of logs in the grass between our house and driveway, more stacks in the back yard, some of which were laying across the sidewalk, and finally, the huge trunk of the tree spanning the area behind the garage to the middle of the yard.  I asked him how long it usually took logs left on a lawn to kill the grass underneath them, and he said about seven days.

Five days later, the logs were still there and my husband and I were not happy.  We’re not the sort of people who pride ourselves on a perfect lawn, but we’re also not the sort who enjoy paying to have their lawn re-sodded just because a tree company left big logs strewn about.  We called and complained to the manager, and were assured that they should get to it within “a couple of days.”  That was when I made the transition from unhappy to frustrated and angry.

I fretted and stewed about it for most of the morning, which meant that I was in an awful mood as I went about my daily chores.  It’s not fun to tackle even the simplest tasks when you’re all worked up in righteous indignation, and walking shelter dogs while being TERRIBLY ANNOYED is also not pleasant.  But there really wasn’t anything else we could do about the situation, and eventually I realized that being so upset was doing nothing but making a bad situation worse.

And so I decided to let my anger and frustration go.  I knew that they would eventually show up and move the logs, and that we would deal with the damage to our yard then.  Meanwhile, I didn’t want to waste any more energy fretting about something that I couldn’t fix, especially since the more I thought about, the more I realized that a damaged lawn and a blocked sidewalk weren’t the worst thing in the world.

I know I’ll never be happy when problems arise, especially problems that I believe could have been prevented.  (How about not taking down the tree until  the clean-up crew is available?)  But I’m finally learning that there’s nothing to be gained by getting all worked up about situations that I can’t control.  Sometimes, if only for my peace of mind, I just need to let things go…….

73 thoughts on “Let It Go

  1. Now that is a big tree. I hear you on impatience Ann. I think we are all more and more impatient these days just wanting control over something, anything. Hope they get it handled soon for you soon. Stay well. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tree guys, roofers, cement guys. It is hard to find good ones. They are not fun jobs and the guys that end up doing them don’t have any options to work in a nice climate-controlled environment pushing a pencil, or, since this is the 21st century, working a keyboard.

    Thank you for this post though Ann, I have been on the edge about some stuff the last couple of days and this is exactly the advice I need to hear. Things could certainly be worse, I need to get over the trivial stuff. (I completely emphasize with you though, like, there is this sticky “h” key on my laptop, geez what a pain.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we are all on our last nerve these days! And I agree about how hard it is to find good workers in difficult jobs, especially these days. We’ve used this company before and never had a problem, but I think the issue is the size of the tree, they’re over scheduled, and apparently some piece of equipment broke down and they’re ordering a part. But it will get taken care of eventually, and meanwhile, I really do need to just put it out of my mind!

      Like

  3. Ann, you are the most civil and patient person I know! Is the tree off of your yard? Otherwise, I will send Lulu down to bite everyone on the leg! (I missed the civil and patient memo) Although if they have snacks, she will be out..

    Seriously, hope it will be taken care of soon and sorry that you lost your tree. Thinking of you guys and miss you lots!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Louise! They took most of the logs this afternoon, and are coming back for the trunk when some machine gets fixed. I’ll let you know how it goes…we may need Lulu. And if you and Bomi bring her down, that gives us an excuse to get together!

      Like

  4. And this is why I hesitate to have any renovation done to or by my house. I cant deal with the inevitable which is delays and sloppy work, inconsiderate workers and stuff. But like you said it will happen and we have to learn to “let it go” – and I keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean! I hate having work done for the same reason…things rarely go well and usually for reasons that could have been avoided. We were so lucky when we had our bathroom redone: the workers were terrific, they completed the work on time, and we were so happy with the result. Usually things don’t go that well.

      Like

  5. That’s a shame that big tree had to go! And how frustrating that the arborists botched the job. Hope the rest can get removed soon. In the meantime, props to you for having the wisdom not to waste stress on something you can’t control.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were sad to lose it, as it shaded our garage and house. It was pretty, too! We’ve used this tree company before with no problems, so I’m guessing the labor shortage is effecting everything. It’s hard to “let it go” but sometimes we just have to, I think. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  6. Oh my goodness, I feel your pain. It seems like every trade is working short, but I wish they’d just be honest. We had a lawn put in this spring and long story short: I had to let it go too. I truly do understand their need to make an income and a living especially during these short handed times, and I really am a reasonable gal. But no response, or being a no show with no explanation? Grrrrrrr…..
    I hope they show up to do the second half soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cecilia! Actually, they did come right after I wrote this and took the log piles, and then they came back today and took the trunk. The yard is kind of torn up, but we can live with that. The man today said that the machine they were supposed to use broke down the day after they took our tree down and they were waiting on a part to replace it. That makes sense, but why in the world didn’t someone just tell us that? We understand problems come up, but if we don’t know what they are, it’s all to easy to assume we have just been “blown off.” Still, it was a good reminder for me not to let things that I can’t control ruin my day and my mood……I’m so sorry about your lawn. These are times that try our patience for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well Yoo-hoo they came back and got the rest of it! Perfect reminder (as you say) to not allow what we don’t know dark cloud our thoughts and minds. After the lawn episode, I took on a sassy pants “I’ll take on the gardening myself.” Let’s cut to the chase on that too: I’m awful! So a big piece of humble pie and I’m learning big lessons about patience! Patience…, humble pie…, it’s an acquired taste. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate to the situation the likes of which arise with a much more alarming frequency out here. We have learnt to tackle with the situation using various countermeasures such as arguing vigorously or paying additional amounts. Yes, trying not to get angry about situations we cannot control is a highly needed faculty that I need to develop. Thank you for suggesting the essential life lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so welcome! Sometimes it is hard to let go of situations that are obviously unfair, and when we more than suspect we are being taken advantage of. Still, unless we know we can make a difference, sometimes we just have to acknowledge the inherent unfairness of life and save our energies for areas we can make a difference. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

    • We absolutely will not! They have actually finally showed up to remove the wood (thank goodness), but I can tell you that if they didn’t, I was planning to put their bill in my “inbox” and “get to it when I get to it” Ha!

      Like

  8. Oh Ann! That must have been a hard decision to take down such a big tree. We have some large walnut trees in the back yard. A storm brought down a big limb into the back yard. My husband has been sawing on it for a week and just now has it cut into manageable pieces. We are going to stack them on the drive way with a sign – free fire wood. No doubt they will be gone in a matter of hours! I know the feelings of frustration are intense but you are wise to let it go. Usually the companies are bonded and if they damage the yard you can ask them to repair it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was hard! We had three big trees on our property when we bought it over twenty years ago, and we’ve lost them all now, one by one. We’ve planted new ones, but they are still small and don’t offer much shade. So we do realize how big a job it was for the tree company, and apparently they had a break down of equipment (would have been nice to know that!). Communication is everything, I think. Good for your husband for taking care of that limb himself!

      Like

    • My guess is they are short-staffed, just like everyone else these days, and are doing the best they can. The way they took the tree down in such a tight space was impressive, and I guess they had a machine break down that caused the delay in collecting the wood. As you say, it’s still better than if the tree had blown over in a storm!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good plan! I know some people take a deep breath, others count to ten, and still others think, “will I care about this on my deathbed?” Whatever the method, the idea is the same: put the problem into perspective, and decide if it is really worth getting so upset about. And when I did that, I realized it wasn’t. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

    • That’s what I thought, too! And it surprised me, because we’ve used that company before with no issues. I think they’re suffering from lack of workers (like all businesses these days) and apparently their machinery broke down, but why in the world didn’t someone call and tell us that? We felt as if we were just “blown off” and that is not a good way to treat your customers. They actually showed up while I was typing this post, and came back today for the trunk. But I’m not paying them until they remove the stump too……

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It is always hard to deal with workers. We built our current house and I thought I would have to go to anger management classes. On the other hand, we had the house “freshened” with painting and minor repairs and the crew even showed up on Saturday when we did not expect them. Life…its always something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny how you can get both extremes when dealing with service companies! We had a horrible company do our original kitchen remodel, but when we redid our bathroom, the company we dealt with was beyond reproach. And then we found a great handyman and were happy for many years. Sadly, he’s gone now, and I doubt we’ll find anyone else as good as he was!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That sounds frustrating. But at least now you don’t have to worry about the tree falling on your garage our house! Last summer after we had a small tornado, my uncle called the tree crew asap to get them out to remove a tree that fell on the family cabin (the one we had been discussing whether to have removed because there was a risk of it falling on the cabin). We were so lucky there was only minor damage. There were so many trees down all along our side of the lake and so many people needing tree professionals, they finally came to our house in late October, or maybe it was even early November! I feel for the people who have been affected by a hurricane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, Meg! In our old house, we actually had an entire tree uprooted in a storm, and it fell on our house, our driveway, and our neighbor’s house. It was a nightmare to deal with, and a bit part of the reason we made the decision to just get this one taken down as quickly as possible. I love trees, but when they are compromised, they are downright dangerous.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. After reading about the anger and frustration you had with the tree removal company, I remembered the ancient serenity prayer:
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can,
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have a backyard oak…estimated to 250 years old. I often worry about it falling and crushing my house and garage, as well as my neighbor’s. Did have it trimmed this past year and was told it’s healthy, yet I still worry. Can vividly recall a front-yard elm…in the first year I lived here, it fell, not on my house but into the street where it crushed two cars. I remain grateful the damage wasn’t worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad your tree is healthy, but I understand your worry. Once you’ve had a tree fall, you see just exactly how dangerous it can be. In our old house, we had a tree that fell once and damaged our house and our neighbor’s house. My daughter couldn’t sleep in her room for a week because the tree was balanced on the roof (which it partially came through) right above her bedroom. My advice is keep getting the tree checked, and if they say it’s dying, then take it down right away!

      Like

  13. Wise advice, Ann. I think many of us would’ve gotten all worked up over this situation. When people say they can do a job, I think they ought to know beforehand whether they have the wherewithal to complete it in a reasonable amount of time. Perhaps, if they really do ruin your grass, they’ll be willing to reimburse you, or get you a lawn guy at a reduced rate? But, looking on the bright side (and that’s what Debbie Sunshine tends to do, ha!), at least you don’t have to pay for garage or house reconstruction!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right, Debbie! A lawn is easier to replace than a garage or a roof. But I agree that they should do a better job of scheduling their crews. They finally came yesterday and removed the logs, and removed the trunk today. And they also told us that they had the machine they usually use for that break down the day after they took our tree out…so they had an excuse, but it would have been nice if they told us that! We would have understood the delay then, rather than feeling that we have been mistreated!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh Ann, that is how I feel when I drive in the GTA Ontario. The constructions on the roads here are just horrible. The construction crew starts digging/ remove part of the road, closes a lane that causes major traffic congestions, and then for several weeks, the place is unattended with no one to finish what they started. And it might take several weeks until the road is fixed and in good condition. Frustrating but nothing that I can help with, so I just take a deep breath and wait to pass the area. Hopefully your grass will survive and the main thing is that the tree was removed and is no longer a treat to the garage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! You can’t help but wonder why they don’t put some effort into doing things more efficiently, in a way that wouldn’t cause problems for so many people. But then we remember that we have no power in those areas, and we just have to accept their incompetence as part of life, and let it go. Easier said than done, for sure!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Strange, Ann. I too learned a somewhat similar lesson recently. That sometimes we can plan for things and sometimes we just can’t. And sometimes, even if we have the perfect plan, not everyone will go along with it, so the plan fizzles out. When that happens, we have begin that challenging journey to let go and accept that we’ve done all that could possibly be done. Some folks may see this as failure and I guess, in some situations it might be – but not in yours. You could not have forseen nor anticipated that there’d be a break in the completion of the task. Sometimes life gets awfully knotted up and no amount of poking and prodding can help the situation; we just have to let go and let God do His job.

    I learned that lesson in my own life and now, I learn it once more through your story. I just wish I could learn to meet unpleasant surprises with less drama and fireworks on my part!!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. It’s a good lesson in letting go, for all of us. I always ask myself “is this in your control?” And if it’s not I do my best to “let it go”… I’ve also been reading a very helpful book which addresses this in a fundamental way. It’s called The Power of Now by Eckhardt still. Very helpful and it kind of describes the process you went through when assessing our feelings that arise in frustrating situations.

    That said, it’s always sad to see a tree come down and I know too how costly it is (without the added expense of lawn repair ).

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we really liked that tree and were so sad to learn it couldn’t be saved. But as you say, there are things we can control and things we can’t, and the smartest thing to do is learn to distinguish between the two. I’ll check out that book for sure! Thanks, Peta!!!

      Like

  17. That’s the sort of thing that makes me fume, too, Ann. Your philosophy is admirable though and you could probably just reseed the bald bits of the lawn. I would be devastated if our Live Oak became unwell but so far she is just a young chicken; hale and hearty. RIP your tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad your tree is young and healthy! I loved ours, but it’s been looking bad for years, and recently it started dropping sticks, leaves and even limbs like crazy. So we weren’t too surprised by what the arborist had to tell us. And yeah, we’ll just resod and reseed as needed…it’s all good, lawn wise!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Oh, Ann, I love your fussing and fuming! Right out in public, no less! It does get the blood flowing, so there’s that. Losing old trusty trees is always hard, and to have it lying in pieces day after day just makes it worse. So thank you for allowing me to fuss and fume sometimes. I often come down to, “It is what it is,” which was my dad’s favorite saying late in his life. Then sigh, and go get some comfort food…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the way you think, Martha! And yeah, I’ve been having macaroni and cheese a lot lately…. Sometimes I think we just need to let ourselves fuss a bit, and then we “put on our big girl panties” and move on. One thing this past year has taught us all is not to sweat the small stuff, I think. But sometimes that’s a lesson I have to learn more than once!

      Like

  19. You are so right about letting things go. It can be so very hard to do at times, but in the end, we only become more and more upset. The worst part is that all of our ‘fussing’ does not change anything. We just feel more frustrated! You have great advice here. It is better to take a deep breath, accept that you have done all that you can do, and let it go…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda! That’s the conclusion I came to as well. I was angry, and all it was doing was hurting myself and everyone else I came in contact with, but it didn’t change the tree/log situation at all! That’s when I finally realized that the only thing to do was accept the fact that they would eventually get the logs out of our yard, and when they did, we’d figure out a way to repair the damage. (And they did come, as I was finishing typing this post!) After the year we’ve all endured, I figured out this really wasn’t anything to get so upset about….

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Well, I’m glad you calmed down, though I would have been equally frustrated. When a tree fell across our yard last spring, I went to work on it with my chain saw and hired my landscaped to remove the big pieces within a few days. I can’t stand looking at a mess, though I realize it’s sometimes unavoidable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not a fan of mess, either, and it didn’t help that this year we had actually hired a lawn care company that was doing a terrific job of taking care of our lawn. So I was especially unhappy to see it damaged….but then I realized that any and all damage can be fixed, and that it really wasn’t worth me walking around all angry upset about. I may not be able to control the emotions that come to me, but I can choose to hang on to them or to let them go!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I’ve come to understand that patience is going to be a big part of everyone’s lives going forward. Why? We have to understand that there are very few employees going around. Lots of companies do not have the staff they would like and because of all of that there will be delays, empty shelves, slower work schedules and the best part will be the long wait to get supplies. You should be thankful and consider yourself extremely lucky and fortunate that you were able to get anyone at all to come and cut down your tree. Has there been a lot of rain in your area? Flooding? Know how many people’s homes and properties have been destroyed due to falling trees and excessive water?
    My husband is out of a job because his employer/contractor can not get the parts to complete the work. He keeps getting pushed back six weeks, four weeks, two weeks and now till December before he even has a job to go back to.
    Sorry. Consider yourself lucky you got your tree cut down. I can only imagine what they charged you.
    Good luck.
    Take a deep breath and as you said…..let it go. They’ll be coming back. They’ll get the job done. Be thankful.
    Side note: the other day we got a delivery from WI. It was delayed a week and when the truck finally came, there was only one guy on the truck and he was doing ALL the deliveries (very heavy equipment). His boss can’t get the employees. I gave the guy a great tip. My heart was broken and I thanked him profusely for his staying with the job. Be kind. Please.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I understand completely! No one has enough employees, or enough equipment, or enough anything these days. I do wish the man who gave us the bid had clued us into the problems that his company was facing, I’ll admit. And we were quite kind and reasonable in our interactions with the company. We’ve used them before and they are usually quite reliable. But we were honest with the issues it was causing us, too. I find that being polite but firm tends to get the best results, and they did come get the logs yesterday and today. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s situation!

      Like

      • No business wants to admit they are having difficulties. It’s too embarrassing to them, I am sure. And they might lose work because of the truth. But it is what it is. Glad everything worked out for you.
        Hubby is looking. With the employee shortage today, he hopefully will be fine.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. There is nothing like contractors giving you the runaround to get your blood pressure up. Here in the rainforests of western Washington, the trees are so large that when they fall across the hiking path, the crews just saw a gap and leave the rest of the tree on the ground. Good thing the forest floor doesn’t need to be re-sodded. Glad you got things resolved and your yard is intact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a rather smart way to do it, Joe! Unfortunately, our yard is a different story. And we are so glad that they did come and get the logs, so now all that has to be done is for them to grind out the stump. That will take a while, but it always does so we were prepared for that. I think they just had a lot of things go wrong and that caused the delay…I just wish they had communicated a bit better. But overall, things are just fine and I am so grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Great lesson on letting go, Ann. I think it’s great that you expressed your feelings and vented – that makes it easier to release them. I related to your post so much and I hope things are better now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Judy! They are… the tree company came and got the logs yesterday and the day before that. And I agree about venting: once I can express my frustration/anger/hurt, then I can move beyond it. Otherwise, I just seem to hang on to all the negativity!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the conclusion I came to….. I was so upset, and thinking of all the stuff I could do to retaliate, and then I just thought, “this is not who I am!” Yes, I was unhappy with the way things played out, but I was overreacting, big time, and I needed to put things into perspective. So when I was able to just “let it go,” I felt so much better. And bonus, that very afternoon they came to clear the logs away!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. We have 12 large oak trees on our cottage property. Until the evening of July 4, there were 13. On this perfectly still Sunday evening the tree gave a loud cracking sound and fell onto the road. This tree had a full canopy of green leaves and seemed healthy. The tree debris was removed the next day although a neighbour used his chain saw to clear branches from the road. We’ve had an arborist check the other trees. He told us that all appear healthy but that old trees can sometimes simply give up. I find myself looking at these beauties with mixed feelings these days as I don’t want a tree to come down on our cottage nor on neighbouring houses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is what’s so hard about trees! We love them and the shade they provide, but when a storm comes along and they are uprooted and simply blown over, then they are quite dangerous and hard to deal with. We had a tree fall on our house many years ago, and it was a huge problem…and we knew we were lucky that no one was hurt. I think you are wise to keep having the trees checked by an arborist. That’s what we did, and when he said the tree was dying and nothing could be done to save it, we knew we had to act. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.