Sunday, October 16, 2005


We didn't go to the movies yesterday -- there wasn't anything we really wanted to see. That's part of the problem with almost never going to the movies -- when you do get the opportunity, you want to see something that's really worthwhile -- as in, I've only been to see a grown-up movie x times in the past year, but the movies we saw were a, b, and c, so it was worth it. Or something like that. I had been kind of interested in seeing "Elizabethtown," but it's gotten bad reviews, and while I've loved two of Cameron Crowe's movies ("Say Anything," "Singles"), I disliked and loathed two of his movies too ("Almost Famous" and "Jerry Maguire," respectively). So that one seemed like kind of a crapshoot, and one I didn't especially feel like paying $6.50 a person for.

What we did instead was something we've been meaning to do for the entire almost 6 years we've lived in this house, which is buy a tree for the front yard. Our tree faces due west. All the houses on our street have one nice tree each planted in the front yard, and for most of them, this tree provides some shade from the afternoon sun. We have a beautiful sycamore tree in our front yard, centered almost perfectly between our house and our garage so that it provides shade to neither in the heat of the afternoon. The solution -- to plant a tree in front of the house -- has been obvious the whole time we've lived here, but somehow we've managed to put it off again and again. Don't ask me why. I hate the summer heat, and the fact that the front half of our house is pretty much unliveable on summer afternoons, even with the air conditioner blasting, should have been enough to motivate me to do something about it. Of course, the time do this is fall once the heat has ended and you're just relieved to have endured another scorching summer, so that's probably been part of the problem.

In any case, after determining there were no cinemtatic works worthy of our hard-earned dollars yesterday, I called my friend Sharon, who gardens like there's no tomorrow, to ask her where to buy a tree, and then we headed out to the wilds of Dixon, where there is a large, muddy and pretty much amazing kind of wholesale nursery with every kind of flora and/or fauna you could ever want. After wandering a bit on our own and getting nowhere, we asked nice man at the counter for some advice and ended up purchasing an Autumn Fantasy, which is a kind of red maple that turns beautiful colors in the fall. It will be delivered here tomorrow, and Reasonable Man has already dug a big hole for it in the middle of our front lawn. I'm more excited about it than I thought I'd be, especially since this experience has taught me that not only do I know nothing about trees, but I've never even really looked much at trees before.

Last night I was walking down the greenbelt to have dinner with some friends. I've walked this same way hundreds of times, but this was the first time I'd ever bothered to really look at the different trees along the way and try to figure out if I knew what kind any of them were. Turns out there are a lot of sycamore trees out there, which I only know because as I mentioned, there is a sycamore tree in our front yard.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me to realize how little I pay attention to these things though. We moved into our house at the end of January 2000, when our front yard tree would have been completely bare. Sometime between then and when it began to grow leaves in the spring, we were out and about one day and Reasonable Man said something about what a nice tree we had in the front yard. My response was "we have a tree in the front yard?" I also occasionally forget the name of the kind of tree it is and have to rack my brain for it. I guess my brain just isn't made to hold on to information about the flora and fauna of the world. And I'd really rather think about celebrity gossip anyway, quite frankly.

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