Saturday, October 22

Getting Over It

I've had a pretty nasty cold ever since I returned from New England, so I've been unable to run all week. Besides, my work schedule has kept me busy 16-18 hours a day every day so I might not have been able to squeeze in a run anyway. But today, between study sessions for my sermon and Sunday School lesson, I snuck in a nice, slow, easy three-miler. I still sniffly and congested, but it felt so good to hit the pavement again.

Much more difficult than getting over my cold has been getting over the incompetence, negligence, and utter bureaucratic intransigence of the Middle Tennessee Electric Corporation. Every year, they send out "internationally certified arborists" to butcher trees in the neighborhood. They hack, deface, slash, despoil, mutilate, and vandalize every beautiful tree they can lay their chainsaws on--especially if it is anywhere within sight of a power line.

While I was in New England a "work crew" showed up at our home (for the third time in a month) and told my father-in-law that they needed to "trim" a tree in our front yard (one that they had already hacked at twice in as many weeks despite the fact that it is set well behind the power lines). Then they proceeded to cut the tree completely down--a beautiful fifty-year old, forty-foot tall cedar. They just chopped it down. To the ground.

Then they said, "oops." It seems they were at the wrong address and had cut down the wrong tree! Their supervisor (who apprently doesn't supervise much) called to say they would be happy to compensate me by replacing that magnificent old tree--along with the sweet gum sapling that they unceremoniously cut down at the same time--with a single cheap, scrawny three-foot tall Crepe Myrtle bush. Oh boy! That's sure to be a nice attraction for our once-abundant hawks, herons, and other indigenous big-fowl. And its sure to satisfy my ire as well. Yeah, right.

Of course, there really is little or nothing I can do about this terrible travesty because the Middle Tennessee Electric Corporation is a part of the vast government boondoggle FDR created when he foisted the TVA on generations of American taxpayers like me. Not only do I have to endure such persistent abuses but I actually have to pay for the privilege as well. It is just another one of those "petty tyrannies" our government bureaucracy has gotten so good at after years and years of practice.

Anyway, every time I drive up my driveway now--and more to the point, every time I go out for a run--I have to look at the gaping hole in my yard where once a beautiful evergreen stood.

And that is a lot harder to get over than my pesky autumn cold.