There will be a natural gas pipeline run through our field at some point this summer. This was approved by us, of course, and talked about extensively. Negotiations happened about 18 months ago, and in our contract we had made provisions to save a pine tree that Sam had planted the year we moved in. I like rocks, Sam likes trees. It's who we are.

So the surveyors were out the other day staking things off, and I went out to talk to them to be sure that they were only taking out a few trees and not our entire hedge line. (I may or may not be attached to some trees as well. We're freaks here, we are.) They assured me that they were not taking out the entire hedge line, but they would have to remove the pine tree. I called Sam, and things were put on hold until he came home from work.

While I was away, Sam talked to the surveyors. If they moved the pipeline waaaaay down into the center of the field, they could salvage the tree. That wouldn't be good. Dilemma. Talking, and replanning, and head scratching ensued. Sam decided that losing the tree would be better than losing half the field. This decision came right about time the gas line representatives offered to buy the tree from us. (The last time they bought trees from us, the check had zeroes in the triple digits.) (And while I jokingly gave credit to my lucky green drawers, I know for a fact that my God is very, very good to me.)

Before Sam could answer that trading a check for a tree could be a very good option indeed, the head rep asked if the tree was sentimental. (It's a valid question because the tree certainly isn't pretty. It aspires to be Charlie Brown's Christmas tree when it grows up.) This question struck Sam's sensitive cord, and he teared up before answering that it was, indeed. The rep decided right then and there that the tree was going to be saved at all costs. He would MAKE it work, and the pipeline wouldn't run through the center of the field, either. We could have our cake, and eat it, too. But we wouldn't be paid.

This scrubby tree (that's too big to transplant without risk of killing it) now has stakes all around it and is roped off with surveyor's tape. The stakes have DO NOT DISTURB written on them. Red tape flutters from each pole, drawing as much attention to it as possible to passing motorists. And we will always have that tree as a reminder of Sam's sentimental side. Always.

We've spent the weekend laughing over this. Feel free to join us.



Flea said...

I think it's very sweet. I'm glad your tree will be saved. :)

Annette W. said...

It's so good to hear a great story about them helping you!

Gas drilling isn't here, but it has transformed where I grew a neg way, overall.

Trisha said...

Happy to hear that the tree is going to stay. That man must have really understood what it is like to be sentimental over a tree.

Roger said...

If a man can't have his tree, what can he have? Of course, I would probably part with it for a few $$$, but no one ever really called me sentimental, at least with trees.