With the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been experiencing suddenly changing to an ice storm, many things around us changed, also. Suddenly we were surrounded by glittering diamonds of ice covering trees, bushes, even the mundane blacktop driveway looked beautiful. As my sons and I were getting ready to drive to school one of them commented: “Look at the tree!” We have a rather large tree in our front yard that has been there ever since we moved here twenty seven years ago. It is unique in that when it was small it must have needed alot of sun and wasn’t able to get it, being in the shadows of two large black walnut trees, thus it sought another route – it grew perhaps four feet upwards then bent at a right ninety degree angle and continued growing to adulthood. We were able to tell people: “You can spot our house – it’s the one with the really crooked tree in the front yard.” The morning of our ice storm brought a sudden realization – this tree looked different. Upon closer examination I found that it had totally succombed to the weight of all that ice and was now totally lying on the ground, having become uprooted. I should preface that this same tree has seen all three of our sons learn to climb a tree just because of it’s unusual shape; it was the perfect ‘beginner’ tree because it’s trunk was perfectly angled for doing a running-jump, then shinneying up the rest of the way.
We will all miss this tree, each for his (or her) own reasons. My middle son seemed to love it the most; manys the time he decided to hide in it’s top branches while others searched for him. After a long family walk, he would be the first (and swiftest) to reach home. When the rest of us would finally saunter up the driveway, he wasn’t to be found. We knew where to look – the top branches of this tree. My youngest son, now 12, expressed remorse at not trying to climb said tree: “If I DID want to climb a tree, it would have been that one”, he said. My husband used to readily express his displeasure at this tree because, due to it’s unusual angles, he could not drive a riding lawn mower under it. I will miss it simply because it was like an old friend – always there, always bursting into bloom first thing in the Spring, providing shade to the front of the house and, because it brought pleasure to my sons.
Goodbye, old friend – you served our family well these many years.