women.” I laughed to think what paroxysms that would cause in Google’s
algorithms. Maybe ads would appear
unbidden on my computer screen for an
AR- 15 in pink. Maybe the NRA would
invite me to join. (Don’t waste your time
NRA, the only gun I want is a glue gun.)
Instead of a chain saw, I bought a
SKIL reciprocating saw with a 7. 5 amp
motor and a variable cutting speed. My
husband asked me not to use the thing
without a cellphone and a tourniquet
nearby. I attacked the honeysuckle with
such unrelenting zeal that I melted
the blade of my new saw. My husband
grabbed an ax and power drill to join
the fight. I don’t know if we were working with nature or trying to bend her to
our will. All I know is that as the honeysuckle fell, piece by piece, we were in the
moment, laboring in our garden, and we
Savoring victory, my husband and I
dragged two teak steamer chairs to the
spot where the honeysuckle had loomed.
We sat there nightly after dinner. We’d
watch birds fly home and bats appear
as the light failed. We’d marvel at how
lucky we are to live in a suburban forest.
One rainy night in July, we were just finishing dinner when we heard a thud. “Tree
down,” I said as we bolted for the back door.
Two trees were down, actually, and one of
them—an ancient tulip poplar—had fallen
directly on top of our chairs.
We returned to the safety of our
kitchen. Dazed and grateful to be alive,
I sat at the counter, head in hands, muttering: Oh my God, Oh my God. My
husband turned on a jazz station and
the first song to play was the Gershwin
brothers’ “I’ve Got a Crush on You.” We
laughed. “Henceforth,” my husband said
when we finally stopped laughing, “to be
known as the tree song.” n
April Witt is a former Washington Post
writer who lives in Bethesda.
banter | SUBURBANOLOGY
David B. Hurwitz
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