R*** B**** now legally owns our family homeplace. The closing was a couple of weeks ago. He has every legal right to landscape it to his liking.

My mom was right. That house, even in the summer, was never hot in the morning. Not with those trees in the backyard.

When Hurricane Sandy hit, a deer took shelter under one of the evergreen trees. A squirrel actually fitted his whole body into the squirrel feeder I had mounted to one of the hardwoods. My daughter and I stayed in the house. We all made it together.

During the storm, a limb fell and landed between the squirrel feeder tree and one of the other hardwoods. That limb stayed more securely anchored by nature than any manmade structure could ever be. It was a permanent bridge for the squirrels, who would cross it to get to the feeder.

I would sit in the backyard and watch them. I also enjoyed the company of an unbelievable variety of bird species at their feeders and their birdbath/water source (feeders and water also shared with the squirrels).

Yesterday, when I dropped by the old neighborhood, the first thing I saw was a little sign popping up in front of the property. It was supposed to be an advertisement for a tree service company. It really is a confession by a tree killing company.

All the backyard trees are gone. I guess R*** B**** will be dealing with the hot AM sun by cranking up the AC and diving into a new inground pool.

In the version of Earth that has man-made lines of who owns what, R*** B**** is the owner of that acre.