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Cottonwood Tree

I have a cottonwood tree.  It’s big, and it’s beautiful, and it sits on the corner of where two streets meet.  Therefore, in the early summer it shares its lovely white puffs with every which direction and turns the neighborhood into a snow globe.  I happen to think it’s kind of pretty.  I know that some of my neighbors do not.  I can see how it can be a little bit of an inconvenience for them for a few weeks a year – something they might not want to look at.  Or maybe it gives the neighborhood a look they don’t enjoy and wouldn’t have chosen.

But you know what?  I wouldn’t have chosen that tree either.  It makes my life a little more difficult.  If I don’t thoroughly pick up my yard before mowing, I get explosions of white all over the place.  The tree was there before I bought the place.  In fact, I am willing to bet the tree was there before most of the houses were built in our neighborhood (it’s pretty big).  It is a bit of an inconvenience for me at times, too.  I wouldn’t have chosen it, but I have it, and I think it’s kind of nice.  It’s a tree and casts shade, and for two or three weeks a year it creates a bit of an etherial atmosphere.

Even through this tree has cast its tiny seeds all over everyone else’s yards for many, many years, there aren’t cottonwood trees springing up in other people’s yards as a result of my tree being next door.  So, it’s not like their yard is going to “catch” cottonwood.  So, I’m not to sure why it would upset them…but I think it kind of does.  Nobody comes right out and says it to my face, but I can see it…I know.

But I am a good neighbor.  When I walk my dog, I pick up after him.  I’m very polite and helpful.  I share my tools with people in need.  I help people get their cars unstuck in the snow.  I buy fundraiser junk from neighborhood kids.  I vote, pay my taxes, keep my lawn mowed…for the most part, and let my neighbors know when I’m going to be throwing a party…and invite them to it, and burn only dry wood in my fire pit so the smoke is minimal.  I’m a pretty good neighbor.

I just happen to have a cottonwood tree – one I didn’t choose to plant, but one I love.  I hope people will treat me kindly with my cottonwood tree; the same way I would hope people would treat someone with an alternate lifestyle.

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