Monday, April 18, 2016

I must admit that I am a tree hugger.  I have a love for big trees.  I have never seen the Sequoias but I am sure I will sob like a baby and kiss the ground when I do.

We had three maples in our yard as a child.  Two sugar maples and one silver maple which Daddy said would tell us when it was going to rain and sure enough, it did.  Its leaves turned upside-down and not long after it would rain.  Daddy took such good care of his maple trees and wouldn’t let us kids climb them.  How I longed for a tree to climb.

At the hubster and my first home we had a tree and I did manage to climb it several times.  I felt like a kid looking into my neighbor’s yard and the apartment complex behind our house.
When we moved to Illinois we had four big trees already established on our property.  Three maples and one honey locust that I grew to hate and then decided I loved it the most of all the trees.  (My little Jessie dog will lie under it this spring soon.)

The girls made use of the trees and I told them to climb to their hearts’ content.  One morning I awoke to Jess calling me from the very top of the largest maple.  My heart skipped a beat on that one.

The girls had a party once and I believe there were five little girls up in the maple tree.  Their mothers probably had heart failure when they learned what they had done at the Faerber girls’ party.

When I was the editor of our local newspaper I hung out one day while a tree service cut down a humungous tree that was a nuisance because a bunch of rowdy birds were nesting in it in the late afternoon and disturbing the neighbors.  They had tried fire crackers, banging on pots and pans and other such ruckuses which were even more annoying gestures than the birds were making.

The lake decided the tree must go.  I took my camera and pen and paper and proceeded to go watch them cut down the tree.  It was quite the extravagant venture.  You don’t just chop down a big-ass tree.  You have to hack away at it little by little.  I have a tear in my eye just writing about this.

Years ago I found a little juniper tree growing in the yard and I planted it out by the apple trees.  I had not yet heard about cedar apple rust and our trees started to bloom out with the most alien looking growths.  It looked like they were growing orange sea anemones.  The apple trees went because I didn’t know how to take care of them organically anyhow.

Years later I had to cut down the juniper tree.  My friend, Greg, cut it for me and he saved several slices of its trunk for me.  I had one made into a clock that hangs in the basement.  Another piece just hangs out in the solarium to remind me I planted it and I had it killed.

A few weeks ago I stopped up the street to watch a tree service begin to take down a large tree in my neighbor’s front yard.  The tree was obviously dying and was quite close to their home.  I took a couple of photos and teared up a little bit.  I hope they plant a new tree.

My heart was severely broken just this past week as I was going into Rockford for a meeting.  One of my favorite trees in the whole world had been cut down.  It was a red bud tree, and I had stopped a couple of years ago when I saw folks working in the yard.  I told them how I loved their tree and asked what kind and its history.  The tree was quite old and little by little had been whacked at.  It was almost a bonsai it was so mutilated but it was still alive and the lady said it blossomed and bloomed every year.  I always wave to it as I pass going to Rockford.  It was gone.  I could hardly breathe.

My love for trees will stay with me beyond my death as my daughter has promised that I will be scattered with my favorite trees of all times.  There used to be Three Sisters at the Sugar Creek Metro Park in Beavercreek, Ohio.  One of the sisters has since died.  (Probably all the cremains scattered there!)  They are now enclosed in a protected environment.

I have to run down to the campground today and check on my little pine trees that I planted last fall.  I sure hope they survive.  The campground is full of oaks and other scrub trees but no pine trees at all.  I hope they survive many, many years.  Maybe I could have a plaque made to say that I planted them.  Probably get a citation from the Lake Summerset Board of Directors for some silly reason or another.

The picture at the top is the infamous Gumby tree found on Rock City Road near Ridott Corners.  Another of my favorite trees.

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