in Hmm Weekly
on June 22, 2021

IT’S KIND OF hard to make out in the pictures, but we had a sinkhole in our tiny Baltimore-rowhouse front yard. It would get a covering of grass and appear to be level lawn, but every once in a while I’d step in it when I was weed-whacking the yard, and I’d almost break my ankle, and I’d always say to myself that I really needed to do something about that because somebody was gonna get hurt.

Of course that didn’t happen, for years, until a friend of my wife offered us the gift of a Crape Myrtle tree, to plant in memory of my sister-in-law, who passed, way too soon, in January of 2020. In the springtime of that year nobody was getting together to do anything, and what with all our stress about the pandemic, and our weirdly stifled grief, denied the usual family-gathering rituals and outlets, we sort of forgot about the tree, the way I forgot about fixing the lawn hazard.

This month, our friend reminded us about this thing she wanted to do, and so I got to dig that sinkhole out, we filled it with nice new soil, and a beautiful little tree.

We had a proper tree-planting ceremony, played some music, toasted the dear departed, and we all got a teary-eyed. Then we cheered up and had a wonderful evening just hanging out. It was good.

I tripped on the non-sinkhole lawn a week later and broke a branch on the new tree, but it’s doing fine, really, it’s gonna make it.