EDITOR’S COLUMN | A series of maladies in the life of an editor

Day 540: Another branch fell this weekend, not sure how much longer I can hold out. Unless help arrives soon, all may be lost.

No joke.

Traversing my front yard has always been a dubious endeavor, thanks to my owning two dogs. We do our best to keep up with our shoveling duties, but it’s a never-ending task in a challenging environment — think heavily forested area and a sea of brown evergreen cones. We’re bound to miss something, and do. It’s why we don’t have nice shoes, or at least they don’t stay that way for long.

That said, I’m discovering that my yard is a far more hazardous place than simply being a minefield of sausage seeds. In fact, it’s downright dangerous. In November, a widow-maker fell with enough force to punch a thigh-sized hole in my roof. I figured it was a bit of an anomaly, the price tag of forest living and finally having the big evergreens I’d always wanted (our last house was on farmland on Central Whidbey). But taking the dogs out this morning revealed we’d been hit again, or very close to it. The splintered remains of another huge branch lay across the deck, though it didn’t actually hit the porch or house. I know because there was literally a mortar hole in the dirt nearby, measuring six inches across and about seven or eight inches deep. Again, no joke. It had the little crater rim and everything.

I now strongly suspect our trees are trying to kill us. And I blame the dogs. It’s almost certainly payback for their poopy excesses. Seriously, it’s about as consistent as their mealtimes.

Facing danger from underfoot and from above is draining, and it’s beginning to take a toll. Take Tuesday morning. As The Record’s crew began filtering in there was an unusual amount of snickering — too much for the first day of work following a holiday weekend. Indeed, some of the more nefarious and malcontented reporters took great pleasure in the subject of their humor — me — and there were mumblings of great disappointment, something about “an all-day joke” ruined, when our graphic artist finally, in an act of mercy, alerted me to the fact that I was wearing my sweater inside out.

Naturally I argued that I wasn’t, that this was a Ross sweater that was made with the seams on the outside. I even confidently turned around in an attempt to show them the tag inside the collar. Of course it wasn’t there, not any more. It disappeared the second I turned the collar inside out. They just shook their heads and said, “No Justin, I don’t see it.”

How they refrained from bursting into hysterical laughter I’ll never know. At least I got my pants on right.