Our Misfit Tree

Another tree story, but this time not about a stolen tree but about a misfit tree.

I like trees.  So much so that we gave out trees to our wedding guests (Colorado Blue Spruce seedlings) when we got married.  One of those trees can be found in our backyard.  It has grown so big and majestic and survived several transplantings as we have moved around.  It is too big to move now, so it is in its forever home.  I will post a picture of it, once I have a working camera.  It really is a beautiful tree!

Our Misfit TreeWe have another tree though that has been causing nothing but problems.  It is a 7-year-old juniper.  We noticed it was struggling this year and realized that the wet summer, combined with some poor drainage was killing it.  My husband decided to dig it up and transplant it to a more hospitable area of the  yard.

It has given him nothing but trouble.  It has a really small root ball and every chance it gets-it keels over.  He will go back in the yard and dig a bigger hole, plant it a little deeper and tamp it down a bit harder.  Without fail, a few days later, we will look out and see it knocked over.  I find it somewhat humorous.  My husband on the other hand finds it extremely frustrating.  Last week, he decided to stake the tree in the hopes that would be the end of it tipping over.

Yesterday, I looked out and there it was, on its side, roots exposed, hanging from the stakes.  Silly tree.  We have called it the lazy tree, the difficult tree and my husband has even called it a few names I won’t repeat here.  I laugh and tell him maybe the tree has lost the will to live.

I finally decided to go investigate the lazy tree for myself.  Stupid uncooperative tree, why won’t you stay put?  I have discovered the source of the problem.  Critters!  Moles or voles or some burrowing creature has found that a freshly planted tree makes a perfect spot to set up shop for the winter.  They dig and uproot the tree.

The tree is not lazy, uncooperative or difficult.  The tree clings to life!

How many times have I looked at someone and thought, “Oh they are lazy, difficult or uncooperative.”  Because we can see those things, or we can see what people do and draw those inferences.  We don’t see the hardships they face, the obstacles they have overcome or how they have great potential despite the obstacles they face.  Sometimes we don’t look beyond the surface.

I like trees.


 

P.S.  I am a bit late posting because the most recent Microsoft update messed up my laptop.  It seems to be better now.  I am glad to be back!

15 Comments


  1. Great post. I like trees… and I like people too. I really strive to give people the benefit of the doubt, as you say, we do not always know what struggles they have faced or are going through right now. But occasionally, it’s hurtful to allow certain trees (people!!!) to be near us.

    Sometimes we unfortunately just have to cut them out of our lives. This has happened to us both in the metaphorical sense and the real life ‘omg-I’ve-got-a-huge-crack-in-the-wall-of-my-house’ sense. It’s a last resort for us, as we would prefer to speak into people’s lives and be a positive influence to help them change into overcomers in their own time.

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    1. Thanks. We think the tree might finally stay put. Hope it hangs on.
      Agree that sometimes we need to let go of those that are toxic. Thanks for coming by.

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  2. I’m a teacher, and I found as I read your post that I started to think of some students . . . Thanks for the reminder to “look beyond the surface.”

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  3. Great post! I have definitely made spur of the moment judgments about people and later discovered that my initial observations was way off the mark. As I lived through really hard experiences including debt payoff, I gained a lot of wisdom about how not quickly rush to judgement as I knew that people had unjustly judged me and some of my life decisions.

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    1. My first impressions of people have been disproven again and again – you would think I would learn! I keep trying. As long as we all keep trying… Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I avoid prejudging people although I cannot help forming an an opinion. I am usually fairly positive with my students in my class unless their behavior indicates otherwise. I still have to contend with them anyway, but I still try to change their behavior.
    krantcents recently posted…Seven Personal Finance Red Flags to AvoidMy Profile

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    1. It can be hard not to judge sometimes. Sounds like your students have a great teacher.

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  5. What a perfect example of how our first impressions could be very wrong. I think I do a decent job of cutting others some slack, thinking about all the reasons for poor performance or for their state of affairs or whatever. The people who get the least flack are my loved ones because I assume I know all about their story. This is a reminder that I may not. Awesome post!
    Kirsten recently posted…I Want to be Content More Than I Want to be ThankfulMy Profile

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    1. Thanks Kirsten. The lesson from the tree was timely – I was operating with an impression of one of my coworkers and this week I realized that I don’t have the full picture.

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  6. At some point in time I started looking at people differently. For example, sometimes you just run into someone, maybe a store cashier, maybe another customer, maybe someone on the street, etc., that just seems rude, abrupt, or apathetic. One day I thought, hey, maybe he or she is having some kind of physical malady that no one can see. Maybe a stomachache, maybe a kidney stone, maybe it’s that time of the month, etc. It has really changed the way I deal with people. Why do we expect so much more out of other people than we do from ourselves?

    Glad you’re up and running again, May! I wondered what was up! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Thanks Kay. It is easy to forget that there are things we cannot see or know. I am glad to be back. Silly microsoft – the update corrupted some files in my operating system.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Happy belated Thanksgiving.

      Reply

  7. Good luck with your tree. I love trees myself. My favorite tree is the Cherry Blossom Tree. Before the leaves appear they bud a beautiful flower that only stays for about a week. It is so beautiful. Also you are right sometimes we do have to look beyond the surface in people.
    Petrish @ Debt Free Martini recently posted…Help Debt Is Stalking Me!! – HumorMy Profile

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    1. Thanks – we have re-staked it and will cross our fingers. I know what you mean about the Cherry Blossoms. We have some wild apple trees out that back and they are beautiful when in bloom.

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