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Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Entry 12: 1957 My Trees

My Trees
The Magnolia Trees in the Front Yard:

I'm sure it was about this time that I discovered a wonderful spot in the Magnolia tree in our front yard.  We had two, one was for climbing because it had a wonderful  trunk that divided into two strong branches perfect for sitting, thinking, snacking, hunting birds, looking at books, or spying on our house and the neighbors.  There was another branch just an arms length higher up where I could hide secret things of importance that I'd want again the next time I came out to play.  I spent many hours in that tree until I was about ten or eleven, when for some sad reason, it seemed to loose it's magic.  The other Magnolia tree had a single long trunk with a branch perfect for the swing dad hung there for us. 
I remember sitting in our front yard.  I had a big blanket spread out to lie on.  I was drawing pictures on the petals of the Magnolia blossoms with a small twig.  The blossoms have a very strong fragrance.  You can draw on the petals and nothing happens for a minute or two, then the picture shows.  I used to give my cats magic shows drawing pictures on those petals.
The Magnolia trees dropped cones throughout the year.  Sometimes the cones are filled with red seeds.  I don’t think we ever ate them but Barbara Hawkins (Morey) and I used to crush them and make paint to paint each others faces.  I remember the pungent odor of those red seeds.  I swear sometimes when we are at Tequila Café there is something in the red salsa they serve that tastes like those red seeds smelled! 
Dad and I would rake leaves under the Magnolia trees.  We’d rake them out to the edge of the gravel driveway where he would light them on fire.  We'd stand there together and watch as the pile of leafs quickly burned away.  Sometimes before he lit them he would throw me into the pile.  Sometimes dad would clip the bigger leaves to my bicycle tires with clothes pins to make them sound like a motorcycle.  Later when mom and dad had an old deck of cards he used cards instead.  The cards worked a lot better.  They lasted longer and made a better sound.  When mom caught us she scolded us for using the clothes pins off the laundry line but she scolded us with a smile.

The Almond Tree in the Driveway:

         We had the biggest almond tree in the whole world in our driveway!  I have never seen another almond tree as big as that one!  I had a dozen places to sit and play in that old tree.  I would play for hours with my cats dressing them in doll clothes.  I remember one day trying out the rule that cats always land on their feet.  I loved my cats…I didn’t drop them too far!          
         I would crawl out the bigger limbs to pick the almonds to eat.  Oh boy, were those almonds ever sweet and delicious.  I learned to ride my bike on the gravel driveway under that old tree.  Dad gave me a dime for each time I made it to the road and back the day I learned to ride.  He said I made $1.10 that day.  Those were the years it was drilled into us to always tithe at Sunday School.  When dad paid me my $1.10 he made sure I understood $.11 should be headed for the offering on Sunday morning.

          I learned to fly my ten cent kites between the almond tree and the barn.  I still love flying kites.
I had a little play house by the butane tank under the almond tree.  Barbara Hawkins (Morey) and I spent many summer days in that little house.
I find it interesting I loved an old almond tree so much.  Later Larry and I farmed almonds for over thirty years.  I moved from a peach farm to an almond farm.  Fresh peaches and fresh almonds are still two of my favorite things to eat.  I think they taste their best when eaten in the field.

The Mulberry Tree in the Back Yard:

           My Mulberry tree overlooked our back yard.  It stood just on the outside of the fence.  It had three main branches where I could sit and swing my legs if I held on.  When mom told be not to go out of the yard I would sneak out the gate to climb my tree and sit on the branch hanging inside the yard!  It was not as comfortable as my Magnolia tree but it was a great place to sit and watch clouds.  I remember when I sat there with shorts on I had to sit on a towel or my legs would get all scratched.

1 comment:

  1. Joyce so much of your childhood reminds me of the wonderful times me and Kristi Carlson (across the street) had for all those growing up years. Her dad was a cement contrator and had a actual box car in the back lot to store cement. We climbed up on that and could see the whole neighborhood. She also had a play house we spent hours in.

    Wonderful tree stories...I love trees too.


Thank you for sharing in my life's journey. If you don't leave a comment I have no way of knowing you stopped by. I do hope you enjoy reading of my life as much as I have enjoyed living it! Joyce