Ponderings with Doug – September 28, 2018

DougFUMCI was forced to call the Bienville Parish Police Jury for information. I wanted to know who owned the trees. The trees are located between the ditch and the sidewalk. My property line begins on the other side of the sidewalk. I knew the trees were not “mine.” But who “owns” the trees? I pretend they are part of my front yard, but they are not.

The Police Jury gave me the measurement from the centerline of the Louisiana highway in front of the house. Within a certain number of feet DOTD owned the trees. I hoped the trees belonged to DOTD. They did not! The trees belong to the thriving metropolis of Gibsland. The metropolis of Gibsland has as much money for tree removal as the Parish of Natchitoches has for pothole repair. In both cases the financial coffers are running on empty.

I know that if the one tree is going to come down, I will need to pay for it to come down. You will note from the picture attached to this opus, that it is one ugly tree. The picture was taken in January of this year. But even this time of year it is one ugly tree. It is mostly dead.

The tree was hit by lightning several years ago. There are a few branches high in the tree that are still alive. The bark of the tree is “alive” although the tree does a prolific job of shedding both limbs and big chunks of bark. If you hear that I have passed on from this earth, you will likely hear it was a freak accident involving mowing in the ditch under an oak tree. I know that tree is loading up to drop a huge limb on my preacher head while I mow the ditch. I don’t own the ditch either, but I need to mow to keep my yard looking appealing.

The two oaks by the ditch have been in the world long before I was. One of the oaks will likely out live me. The other one, will end up in my fireplace here in Natchitoches. That poor ugly tree is coming down, before it falls. I know I will be under that silly tree when it falls. It will take me a half the phone lines in Gibsland out at the same time.

I planted two Maple trees in the front yard this spring. I planted just in case those oaks are cut by some rogue tree cutter who was called by a Methodist preacher afraid the former Baptist oak tree would land on his head as he was mowing the ditch on a Sunday afternoon. And if any of you tell the town of Gibsland what I am up to, I will deny it. Remember, I am also in politics!

My friend Tommy, the former math professor philosopher, reminds me that everything purchased at my age comes with a lifetime warranty. The Maple trees have a lifetime warranty. I planted them with the prayer that they will grow and flourish. I pray that my grandsons will play in the shade of those trees. I pray that they remember when they were small Maple trees and will marvel at how large they have become. I will never see the trees fully grown, yet I have planted with the hope they will fully grow.

Jesus said His followers were seed planters. We are all planting seeds. God’s power and spirit gives growth to the seeds. We are planting seeds we may never see mature.

What are you planting? What a blessing to know that something we plant has the potential to outlive us.