home place on Walker Fellowship Road is full memories. Each child had their own memories and each grandchild has their own set of memories.
Our grandfather passed away in 1950, when I was just 9 years old. I barely remember him. The one memory that I have is of a summer when I was about 5 years old. All their children, my aunts and uncles, were grown and married. I came for a visit. The only thing I remember about that time was riding in the old school bus, on the front seat, between Granny and Grandpa. They took me down to Cohay Creek, so I could wade in the water and play in the sand.
Grandpa owned the school bus, and when school was out for the summer, the yellow body was taken off and the flatbed truck was used, on the farm.
Granny was just 56 when Grandpa died suddenly of a massive heart attack. She continued to live in the little house, on
Fellowship Road and she continued trying to farm with hired hands. She had to make a living. She sold timber, even though there wasn’t much to sell – most of her land was used for farming.
In the summer, gardens and fields were full of vegetables for canning and freezing. There was a huge oak tree, in her back yard, where everyone would sit to shell the peas and butterbeans and snap the green beans. It was the tree where watermelons would be piled – ready for cutting. Granny’s theory was that you ate only the heart…..the rest was thrown over the fence into the hog pen.
I loved that old tree because it held so many memories. I remember the day Bob (my husband) told me that it had to go. It was dying and was hollow inside and one day it would fall and someone could be hurt. I was away, at work, the day the tree came down about 2003. Loving trees, as I do, I must have grieved for it.
I remember when our house was being built and the tree that I always thought of as “Mama’s Bull Tree” had to be cut down. Just to the right of the old corn crib was the huge oak tree. My mother would laugh and tell stories about how she, and my Aunt Hilma (my dad’s oldest sister) had to climb the tree to get away from a charging bull. In my mind, I could see the two of them….hanging onto the tree and screaming and all the while the bull was butting the tree. I remembered the climbing up part of the story I just never remembered hearing the getting down part!
Down behind the garden was the Mulberry Tree. Such a mess they can make, but what wonderful syrup can be made to pour over pancakes, or French Toast, or Waffles! When Hilda Grace (now Bynum) and her mama, Miss Mary Craft, would visit Granny…..Granny’s treat for Hilda Grace was to visit the Mulberry Tree. Her teeth stayed purple, all summer!
When we were kids playing in Granny’s yard she would give us spoons and dishes (if kids play outdoors, these days, it’s with plastic), and we’d play in the dirt under the old water oak that still stands beside the old house. I remember the night, a few years back, when lightning struck the old tree. Bob tried to make me understand that it would have to be cut down. I fought the decision, and the old tree still stands. When winter comes, the Mistletoe thrives in the top, and squirrels chase up and down the tree all summer long. How could I deprive them of their home?
Down under the hill, behind where the old corn crib stood and behind where my house now stands, is the old Pear Tree. Granny passed away in 1973, and the old tree still lives on. It’s one of the first trees to begin blooming, in the spring, and it’s one of the first trees to begin changing color in the fall. I look at the old tree and so many memories of Granny and my mother flood my memory.
I love these old trees of my childhood and when they die it’s as if I’ve lost a good friend. I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree. When a tree from my childhood dies, I think a part of me goes with them.
I love trees and I’m surrounded by them!
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