Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Sense of Humor is a Precious Gift

After a few weeks of patience-testing events, as in "life happens," it was a pleasure last week (here in September) to have a day when I could relax in my lawn chair and watch the neighbor’s half dead tree (a really big tree) get dismantled and dropped by one of those expert tree removal companies. Besides that, I had the arborist from my other favorite tree company stopping by to tell me how to take care of the new trees in our yard to get them ready for winter.

In late April, I had visited a large tree farm and purchased two crabapple trees and a Sensation boxelder. Their guys planted the trees in June, and I had meticulously watered and inspected them according to instructions. They were looking great!

The arborist arrived and I explained about the new trees and what I needed to know for fall and winter care. He looked at the trees and described the trunk wrapping and mulching process. As we were ending the discussion, I pointed to my boxelder and briefly explained our hopes for fast growth and nice spreading for shade at the hottest corner of our house.

The arborist looked around, then back at the tree I’d waved at.

Arborist: “That one? That’s a pear.”

The pear tree
Silence.

Silence.

Pixabay

Me: “A pear! Are you kidding me?”

Arborist: “It’s definitely a pear.”

Me: Speechless, standing there with my mouth open, staring at the tree. Yes, I had noticed its shape was a little different than the one I thought I’d selected, but two months had gone by between purchase date and planting date. I blamed my memory. The fact that pear leaves and boxelder leaves do not resemble each other completely sailed over my head without even a second’s pause in my brain.

The arborist gave me advice about calling the tree farm and spoke very highly of their reputation. So as soon as he was gone, I pulled out the copy of my purchase record (to confirm I really had purchased a boxelder) and called the tree farm.

Me: Full explanation of what, where, how, when….and a weak attempt to explain "why" to the tree farm lady on the phone.

Silence.

Silence.

Tree farm lady: Could you email us some pictures?

So I went outside with my tablet and took four shots of the tree and emailed them. A little later, the tree farm lady called back and said, “That’s definitely a pear!”

To make a long story a little shorter, the next morning I went back to the tree farm, selected a new boxelder, and the tree farm guys came that afternoon to swap out the trees. I apologized to the pear when I was told its next destination was the chipper, a sad consequence.

I never figured out who was most embarrassed, me or the tree farm folks.

Most of all, having told the story on myself and laughed about the goof several times now, has helped ease my impatience and annoyance at those “life happens” events I mentioned earlier. Getting angry would have made all of it worse instead of better.

Pixabay

That’s why a sense of humor, and being able to laugh at ourselves, is a precious gift. Do you have a favorite story you like to tell on yourself?


Pat (Patricia) Stoltey is the author of four novels published by Five Star/Cengage: two amateur sleuth, one thriller that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2015, and the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead (December 20, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards. This novel is also now available in a large print edition. Her short story, “Good Work for a Girl,” will appear in the Five Star Anthology, The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West, scheduled to be released in November 2019.

Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Scottish Terrier Sassy (aka Doggity), and brown tabby Katie (aka Kitty Cat).

You can learn more about Pat at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She was recently interviewed for the Colorado Sun’s SunLit feature that you can find at the Colorado Sun website.

14 comments :

  1. A fun story, Pat. Bet you had an uptick in your deer population.

    It would have been thoughtful of the tree farm to let you keep the pear tree, moving it to another location in your yard.

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    1. They offered to do that, Liz, but I already have a flowering pear, the two new crabapples, and an aspen, plus the now properly planted boxelder. There's no room for another tree in the back, and our tiny front yard already has a big tree doing well. It was a sad end for the young pear.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Pat. I love the 'lesson learned,' too. Letting things like that get to us too much never pays off.

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    1. I guess this humor thing is why so many doctors and psychologists recommend watching funny movies when folks are feeling down in the dumps. Laughter is indeed a wonderful medicine.

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  3. You gotta laugh, the alternative just gives you sinus issues. :)

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  4. With the economy and food supplies tanking, I would have kept that pear tree for future food security! Well, I would have kept the tree anyway. Trees are better than humans to my misanthropic way of thinking. Ah, well.

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    1. I tried to grow pears and apples and they were always too buggy or diseased to eat...and since I won't spray trees to get edible fruit, 'twould have been a messy waste. Planting a fast-growing shade tree to help cool the house was a better environmental choice.

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  5. Loved the story Pat and the lesson learned. Laughter is indeed the best response to stress.

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  6. Poor pear tree. Too bad you or they couldn't give it to someone who might want it. Years back, decades, really, we planted a peach tree. I gave the most delicious peaches, but it got taken over by borers. It was so sad, but both my husband and I are both city people and had no idea how to take care of the tree. I still remember the sweet white flesh of that peach, but we never planted another one.

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    1. Of course I meant, "IT" gave the most delicious peaches. Ha.

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    2. I'm going to leave fruit growing to those who know what they're doing...like the Colorado Palisades growers from the Western Slope. Yum!

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  7. I would never have known the difference between a boxelder and a pear tree — until it produced pears. However, the tree's ultimate fate is a bit sad. It was, after all, a victim of human error.

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