Literally a Correct Use of the Word Literally

This is the tree top that has literally been hanging over our heads for two weeks:

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Also, figuratively.  It’s the 25-foot straw that broke the camel’s back.  The camel being my stress levels and ability to multitask.

Two weeks ago, we had a magnificent storm roll through.  I sat on the front porch and enjoyed the rain lashing out at the landscape and the lake.  It reminded me of the storms of my childhood.  Such a nasty shock to get yanked back into adulthood and home ownership responsibilities by the same storm.

We didn’t hear the pine tree fall.  Tom went out after the storm for something else entirely and found it like that.  It is hard to see in the pictures, but an electric line runs right under it – diagonally across the driveway to the neighbor’s yard to another pole.  (The pole-to-pole is important because it distinguishes who is responsible for clearing the line.  Pole-to-pole is Wisconsin Public Service.  Pole-to-house they will come and drop the line so that you may clear trees yourself.)

Tom called Wisconsin Public Service immediately.  Nothing was done the next day.  When I called, I was told they closed the ticket because power was restored to the area.

I opened another ticket and the next day had a call from their tree contractor that he would not responsible for 100% of the work as the oak tree that currently holds up the broken pine doesn’t pose a threat to the electric line.  We said we knew and he said he would try to get out there as soon as possible.

A week went by.  Nothing.  We noticed more leaning, cracking, and buckling of the oak.  Tom called Wisconsin Public Service again.  They said they would come out.  They didn’t.  They kept flagging it as a “tree trimming” request.

Finally, Tom called on Sunday and contacted our state representatives requesting their aid.  Wisconsin Public Service finally sent one of their own people out (not a contractor).  He was as concerned about the situation as we are, but again they would not cover the whole job.

At this point Tom said if they would drop the line, we’d arrange for our tree service to do all the work.  We didn’t care if it cost us extra we just needed it fixed before we were 1) blocked in/out of our driveway and 2) in a legal battle over who owed our neighbors for their garage.

The Wisconsin Public Service guy gave Tom his personal number to coordinate the line drop with our tree service company.

I hope they can squeeze us in today.  I feel like we have used up all of our karma on this one poor oak tree.

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