Our house addition officially started last week, with the construction of a new septic system since the existing one is directly under the addition we plan to build.
Day two into the septic project saw the arrival of two dump trucks at 7:30 a.m. that morning. Their job: remove the clay-infused dirt in the septic field then truck in sand to fill the septic pit. I was here the morning they started and watched anxiously as they navigated down our narrow, stone-paved driveway to the back yard where the septic system was being installed. Because our house is perilously close--3'--to the driveway, I was worried that the house might get accidently "nudged" by a passing truck.
The first run went fine, but the second run didn't go as well. One of the drivers, waiting for the other truck to get filled with the septic field dirt, backed down the driveway, got off course, and bent over a 5" diameter red maple tree. The tree didn't break, thankfully, but the root ball was dislodged and the trunk was scraped. I saw it happen and then watched the driver realize, with horror, what he'd done. He pulled away from the tree, but it didn't snap back upright.
I wasn't mad. Honestly, if this is the worst thing that happens during this construction project, I'll be happy. More than happy. The driver felt awful and apologized profusely. It was his first day back after a layoff (I didn't ask for how long because a lot of folks here have been affected by the economic downturn) and he was worried my anger might cost him his job.
I reassured him that I knew it was a mistake and that all I wanted was for him, or his company (a landscape gardening firm) to fix the tree. Someone came out a few hours later and righted the tree. Done deal!
But the driver still felt obligated to "pay" for his mistake. He offered me money, which I promptly refused. An hour later, he tried again, saying he wanted to pay for my next cup of coffee. Again, I reassured him that the damage had been fixed and I wasn't worried about it. He then announced that since I wouldn't take his money, he was going to tie a dollar bill to the tree and it would become our "money tree." It would bring us good luck, and money, during the construction project. I was intrigued, but thought it was all in jest. By golly if he didn't pull the dump truck under the tree, climbed on top of the cab, tied a dollar bill to a branch, and left, wishing us the best.
That was on Tuesday. It's Friday and I still haven't seen any unexpected money. Maybe I should play the lottery, something I don't normally do. Will the money tree live up to its promise? Time will tell and I'll let you know. Old houses are supposed to be money pits, but with our money tree, perhaps we'll buck the trend.