Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to an old friend. My huge cottonwood tree in my front yard is coming down. How do you say goodbye to a tree? This tree has been a big part of my life for nearly 20 years. It makes me sad that this big ole boy has to be put down but it is dying and needs to go.

I have had my issues with this tree. It has pushed its roots up under my driveway and made it buckle and have to be replaced. It has housed multitudes of squirrels and birds that relieve themselves on my vehicles and holler at me. It has had its branches broken and fallen through my roof and tried to bust in my front door. The biggest irritant has been the dozens of bags of leaves I have had to rake up year after year.

Mr. Tree has also given me so much joy. That tree has shaded my home from the heat. It has been a great place to sit under and read the paper. It has been the first tree my grandson tried to climb. It has been the tree the left the leaf and branch pile for us to hide in. It has been what I have used as directions to tell people where I live. I have always said, "just go around the corner until you see the huge cottonwood tree". How am I going to tell people how to find my house now? It has also blocked my view of the neighbors bathroom window. Now I am going to see more of the neighbors than I ever wanted.

Goodbye Mr. Tree. I will miss you so much. I thank you for being such a great tree and providing all the shelter and joy you have through the years. You will never be forgotten. Today I am a tree hugger and will hug its trunk one more time when I get home.