Friday, June 20, 2008

the old trees

From time to time we all come upon trees that are far past their prime.
Trees that once bore enough fruit for pies for the freezer for a whole year and then some.
Trees that had sandboxes tucked underneath the shady boughs.
I saw several trees like that yesterday.
I was mildy amused seeing a few transparent apples. .
enough for a few pies maybe.
The trunk of the massive willow tree has the remains of a tree fort.
I wondered at asking my family to hold hands around the tree.
I didn't. I wanted to.
I wish I would have.
To have my three brothers and I hold hands around that tree
. . . with me,
would have been incredibly special. . .
for me.
.. .but alas. . .
I'm the little sister ... .
still the sentimental one. . . .
I stood there at the tree and claimed my memory. .
remembering the time I fell out of that tree in grade two and broke my arm.
My brother ran to the house. . .
"Vellie broke her arm"
Mom said. . ."play nice"
(until she saw me running to the house supporting part of the limb that wasn't quite straight anymore)
I said. . ."I'm not going to the doctor"
Mom said. . ."no we'll just call the doctor" (you could do that at one time)
Minutes later in the car. . .
I said. . "I'm not going to the hospital"
Mom said. . "no we'll just stop at the doctor's office"
I said. . .after stopping at the office .. ."I'm not sleeping at the hospital"
(mom rocking me gently in her arms. . . ."no. . . we'll just go there for a little bit"
I said. . .being tucked into a hospital crib. . . (they were out of regular beds .. .I was in grade two remember .. . ). . "I'm not having an operation"
Mom said. . ."tomorrow you will come home"
That night I whimpered into my pillow. . (parents weren't allowed to stay)
the little girl next to me having her tonsils out the next day. . asked me what was wrong. .
I had to go to the bathroom but the nurse had told me not to get out of bed. .
(I was in the crib. . .remember?)
The girl getting her tonsils out confided in the girl across from her who was getting her adenoids out the next day who .. .pushed the buzzer . . for the nurse.
I thank God today for the incredible gift of remembering.
I thank God for giving me wonderful things to remember.
I'm sure that a medical professional. . .
would be skeptical about me calling this memory wonderful. . .
no matter. . .
it's my memory and it's wonderful to me.

Maybe next year at the annual wiener roast at our family home. .
I'll take my grand babies to the tree and ask my little great nieces and nephews to come too. .
and together we'll hold hands around the tree.

17 comments:

  1. Transparent apples and climbing trees...wonderful memories of summers long gone! (I never had the broken arm thing though...lots of stitches instead.)

    Memories are meant to be passed along...and how much more special if the tree is still there!

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  2. Sweet memories. It was such a different medical world back when we were young. I hope you do gather up the kids and hold hands around that tree next time...

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  3. Your ability to remember, and in such great detail, is astounding! I can sometimes barely remember what happened last week. :)

    I'm enjoying your cookbook blog... some of the recipes are a real blast from the past. One recipe that HAS to be posted is Anneliese's rainbow pasta salad. I haven't experienced anyone not loving it when I make it, which is often! How about it, Anneliese?

    I just mixed up a double batch of your sticky buns; wish me better luck with the pan flipping this time around. ;)

    I don't take the time to comment on your blog often, but you can be sure I'm here enjoying it regularly! Keep up the good work!!

    Vange

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  4. Seize the moment. I have afew that I've missed and later wished I had let sentiment take control. Memories...such blessings in many of them. I love old rugged trees. I have an old family picture of our camping days with our whole family holding hands around a tree on the Island. Fond memories! How sweet it will be for you to hold hands with the wee ones next year and maybe pull up a blanket and tell them a story about your youth:) Kathy

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  5. Oh yes, the little grandies and nieces and nephews will make a wonderful chain to add to your link of memories around your beautiful tree. Please take a picture to share with us.

    You are such a romantic, Lovella. That's one reason I like you so much!!!

    :)

    LaTeaDah

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  6. Having the tree still is wonderful. Having memories from it is even better.

    I've read (and observed) that people with tramatic upbringings often are unable to remember much about their past. It is a way to shield a life from having to relive hurt over and over again.

    The fact that you can remember details of a "tramatic" episode is testimony to how safe and secure you felt as a child.

    Of course the flip side is the fact that you CAN remember every little detail, and that can drive husbands and children crazy!

    Pray God we with long memories won't insist on driving down memory lane over and over again, all the time in the future.

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  7. What a sweet post - makes me think of my mom and some hospital memories I have. Good post fodder.

    Keep being sentimental! I have found that the men in my life squirm occasionally but they really like it deep down :)

    Thanks Vellie (cute nickname!)

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  8. I like "Vellie" ...how sweet...Lovely old trees and such sweet childhood memories...well, I suppose the broken arm memories are good and bad...

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  9. Awwww.. we share the sentimental genes of our family! You melted my heart with this one !!
    I want to see the tree surrounded by the generation that gives you the chance to 'go back' and paint over a regret !

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  10. Oh I love your childhood nickname...are you still called Vellie? Next time you're all together, don't forget to risk asking that you might all hold hands around the tree.

    (I broke my arm in third grade...had to have surgery with the scars to prove it. Spent a week in the hospital...goodness those were the days.)

    Your mother was so wise...

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  11. apple tree i so wish i had one

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  12. Oh, your story is too cute. In Germany they celebrate the Maypole on May 1st. And that's a day the families come to celebrate their memories. Interesting holiday.
    I will blog about that some later date.
    Memories keep us in tact.
    I noticed how important familiarity is with the grandkids as they remember from year to year the camping trips.
    Oh, you'll be so busy, you won't have time to blog...

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  13. Such a sweet post - put a smile on my face :)

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  14. What a wonderful post. You write well Lovella. Three brothers?! You should have a STACK of memories then! And playing in tree forts...so much fun and imagination you must have had in your play.

    What a cute story of a little girl in a big world of hospitals and away from mom's safe arms of comfort.! I remember not even wanting to stay overnight at a girlfriends at grade two age and being driven home in the middle of the night. How 'dreadful' that hospital room must have been for you. But you survived Vellie

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  15. I missed this cute story yesterday! I can so relate to your (gift of) memory and sentimentality! It's something I do cherish, however, and somehow strive to pass on. Your memory of this kind of experience helps you be the sympathetic person that you are. The apple tree pictures are great. Reminded me of the apple tree pics Kristal took recently at our cabin. I was surprised (?) and pleased that she had special memories associated with it.

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  16. what wonderful memories........i love your sentimental heart....it speaks to your caring nature and loving soul..........

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  17. Are't memories great? I broke my arm when I was 5 and remember everything about it. :) Thanks for sharing.

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Thank you!