When Carole Watson figured out that the mysterious holes appearing in the base of her trees were filled with diesel and a result of vandalism, she was unnerved to say the least.
The situation may be especially disconcerting for a woman who is, self-admittedly, a bit of a recluse.
Watson says she keeps to herself, barely knows her neighbours and rarely has anyone other than family to her Westsyde house.
So imagine the acute sense of invasion she must’ve felt when she realized someone sneaked onto her property, likely several times over the past year, to kill her beloved trees.
It could turn a slightly reclusive person into a full blown hermit too disheartened to venture into a world populated by such vile people.
Instead Watson broke out of her comfort zone and told her story. Now her view of the world is a lot less bleak for it.
Since Watson’s story ran on April 28 at least half a dozen people have offered to help — some by suggesting ways to save the trees (ultimately unsuccessfully) and others to remove the trees at a lower cost than the $20,000 she was previously quoted.
And if you ask them why they wanted to help a complete stranger, these folks just shrug their shoulders and say: “That’s what people do.”
But if you’d asked Watson last month if that’s what people do, she probably would’ve said no. She nonetheless had enough faith remaining to reach out, and plenty of people reached right back.
Even more meaningful to Watson are the people who phoned just to empathize. She’s been embarrassed about her emotional reaction to losing her trees and the calls validated her sense of loss.
“It makes me feel like I’m not a nut,” she said.
Unfortunately a solution has yet to be reached. With a precipice on one side of her yard and close neighbouring houses lining the other side, there’s talk of a crane being used — all the while dollar signs continue to accumulate.
The situation is enough to make her head spin, said Watson. But one thing she’s learned through the whole ordeal is how many good people there are willing to make up for the bad.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.