Archive for March, 2013

Requiem for a Sycamore and Poplar Tree

Fifteen years ago, my dad had to cut down a Sycamore, giant and majestic, that he had planted when he built the house in the 1950’s. He left a very high stump, which soon sprouted and the new branches, themselves became a problem. They got in the way of power lines, blocked the view of ‘ and the mountains. Everyone fussed at dad, but he continued to just “trim” back the limbs.

Now my son has built a house next to my father and has become concerned that a tall poplar that dad also planted nearly 60 years ago could fall onto the house or damage property if we don’t cut it down. Not only is dad’s heart broken, I find myself grieving it too. I now understand dad’s feelings. It isn’t just a tree, even a majestic tree, it is a collection of memories, a diary of sorts. They are two trees, one ruined, one soon to be that deserved to be giants in some preserved forest. I see both myself and my children gathering sycamore balls, poplar blossoms, the trees were part of what “home” meant”

I have no answer, I have thought of ways to donate the wood and such but have found no affordable options. When I see a tall tree, still safe in the forest, I smile. And, as with the Sycamore tree, I can’t help but hope that sprouts will appear from that immense root system and at least be a reminder of what was and what should be.

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silent sunday

silent sunday

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Dogwood Winter

It happens every March here in the mountains. Right after a cold spell, the sun will come out. It will warm the earth, causing flowers to bud and bloom. Those of us who love to garden will rush to the hardware store. We buy top soil and seeds. We dig up dead grasses, sprouting weeds.

Spring is here at last! A few glorious days of warmth. Fragile lilacs burst forth. We want so badly to forget what the unseasonal weather meant. It is not spring, not really, not yet. Grandpa called it Dogwood winter. I just sigh and call it disappointment.

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Old Mill Wheel

Old Mill Wheel

I would love to spend a day in this era!

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The Leprauchan

A little old man in a green top hat,

stopped by my house with a tip and a tap.

I heard the whip of a strong north wind,

and whispered, look over there my friend!

As I sat on the step, I stopped and looked over,

and there, I spied a four leafed clover.

I imagined his face, this jolly old elf.

And looked at the clover, quite proud of my self!

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An Irishman’s Laugh

To say that my great grandfather was a n Irishman went back a few generations.  His family began their trip tow hat was the the “colonies” in the 1700’s. Yet, they kept their Irish customs, the Irish brogue and considered themselves ” Irish” despite generations of being in America.

I used to give my grandmother a “Saint Patrick’s Day” card every ear.  It always brought a smile to er face and a good story of her fathers love for the Irish heritage that had been handed down to him largely by oral history.

My grandmother always loved to hear her father’s laugh when something that aggravated him happened.  A a father of 12, he would laugh and ay, “At least I don’t have any red-headed children.”

I always though that was an odd way to be thankful.  As the generations progressed, quite a few red-headed descendants appeared.  I am sure he would have loved them, and with a jolly Irish laugh, think of another way to be thankful for the little things that go right.

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Bloodroot

She walked along the well traveled path, only mosses and a shy fern dared to decorate the ground. Underneath the aging oaks, she sat on a stone, wiping a cold tear from her cheek.

“Winter,” she thought. “I hate it,”. She found a lidless acorn and threw it down the bank. She watched as the acorn landed and rolled until it hit a log.

A blur of white peeked out from the edge of the bark. Struggling against the cold, she slid down the bank to see what it was.

“Bloodroot.” she smiled, spring would be here soon. She walked back down the path with a little more vigor. Her hands warmed by a ray of sun as she emerged from the woods.

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The End of Her Dream

Corrina admitted to herself that she had scanned the obituaries for year, hoping, silently that his name would not be there.  It had been over half her lifetime since the less that two years they spent together, but those two years had changed her, made her what she was, Today, so was that short column in the obituaries, a story of life after her, of a few short years when he had tried to settle down, have a family, be free of his demons.

Her most daring adventures, were with him, her look into a world she had no idea existed were during her time with him.. The lights of LA from San Bernardino, the distant curves of the San Juan from a pull-off on the edge of a cliff.  Eating burgers from a grill in the forest by the side of a road.  saving a secret souvenir found among the shacks and shadows near those Mississippi tenant farms.

She remembered the big cities up north, staying with French-speaking Canadians with snow piled high on the road side in late April. She remembered the fear from some of the things that happened there,and from some that happened nearer to home.

There were things Corinna  did, and did well, in  that long ago day, that she can not imagine even trying, now as a grandmother. In  these few years and in all the ones after, she was always hoping he had  loved her like she lived him,though  in her heart of hearts, she knew he never did.  No the for even kind, maybe the for now kind.

His family was good to her when she was not close to her own,  She still smiled, when she thought of her visits wit them, after he left and they still hoped they hoped he would go back to her. He didn’t.

Time went on, life went on, they had separate lives, a few strange connections, accidental ,meetings with each other,  family members, a silent pain in the quick conversations, always a feeling of “what if…”

Corinna had countless dreams of him, he made her, but never knew it.  Why did  she often dream of him, crazy dreams, a little too real, instead of dreaming of the man she spent her life with smiled and suffered so many years with.  She didn’t know.

Tonight, the dreams were different. There was no quiet ending, no sad goodbye, no answer to the “what if…”.  The dreams-no, nightmares, were surreal, unimaginable.  She woke up shaking, her heart thumping, time after. time.

Corinna was miserable, She finally told her daughters, one who knew a lot about those days and the younger,  who knew only  little, why she was in such a strange mood. She had to think of a way to find out what happened why, who was thee, who had been by his side.

Finally, she though of an answer.  A bit crazy, but probably not unwelcome.  There was one person who would care that she still cared and tomorrow, she would write an old fashioned letter, never knowing if it would be answered or not.

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Silent stairs

copyright-jennifer-pendergast

She started up the endless stairs, her mind racing.  “Who could have sent the message?”  “Why did they want to come here, a place that had left her so with so many memories and caused her so much pain?”

Her legs beginning to shake, she could literally hear the frantic beating of her heart. She stopped, listening for any sound, any sign of someone ease’s presence.

Nothing. Nothing human, anyway, the howl of the wind outside the abandoned light house, an odd creaking above her as if someone was there. She clung to the rail, her consciousness fading. He smiled, carrying her away.

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Stay

I struggle to live and breathe when I see,

The love that you have for the broken, sad me.

In spite of my pain, you touch me and say,

I love you, my mom,I’m here,It’s OK.

if only you had what you really need.

Your brother alive and the mom I should be.

Hold my hand, my sweet baby, so I won’t slip away.

There’s part of him in you,and both want me to stay.

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