Light Notes

You sow what you reap (w/ photos)

I hate to dig up the past.

So, I asked my husband, Bill, to do it.

Here’s the “dirt” on a huge problem. It's one that we — meaning Bill — have been determined to get to the root of during the past couple of weeks.

It all started almost 30 years ago. It was an innocent mistake, but one that happened in our own backyard.

“Look what I found down by the front of the road!” Bill said as he set the sapling on our driveway. “It was growing in the cattail swamp.”

I remember eyeing the twig with suspicion. “Are you sure it’s not a weed?” I asked as it caught in the dog’s tail.

“Nah!” Bill exclaimed. “I think it’s a corkscrew willow.”

Oh, if we only knew then what we know now.

In short order, Bill had found a patch to plant the little tree above the driveway. It would be cute nestled in among our other landscaping.

It wasn’t until Tiffany, our grade school daughter, raced up our road clutching another sapling that a thought began to germinate.

“I noticed,” Bill announced shortly thereafter, “there’s another corkscrew willow in almost the same spot. I doubt they’d all pop up in a line.”

Uh oh! They’d been planted by our cranky neighbor who owned the parcel of land.

Looking back, we should have done the right thing — “fess up” and return the trees. But stories about run-ins with this landowner grew like weeds. We were afraid to hoe that row.

Leaving that dirty deed to grow undetected and flourish was a costly error in judgment. Now, this full-grown tree has had bigger consequences for us.

The root of the corkscrew willow has lifted our driveway concrete — the site of the original sin. What would have taken a shovel to remedy years ago has now taken a jackhammer, a chainsaw and the price of a new driveway.

Like they say, “What you sow is what you reap.”