Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Oak Tree

We had a huge old oak tree in our backyard that shaded the whole yard in the summer and provided huge piles of leaves in the fall. The limbs were massive so Daddy built us a wooden swing on one side and a tire swing on the other side.  The tire swing was on the side that had a sloping hill on it and you could run and jump on and soar through the air.  The wood swing was just a piece of wood with a very thick cable on each end and talk about going high, you could almost touch the treetop and the stars in it.  I remember Daddy pushing me and then he would hold me up over his head and let go and I would fly so high and had tickly butterflies in my stomach when I came back down.  It was the best!  The tire swing was lots of fun too, it was my dance partner and I would climb on top and spin around in circles until I was so dizzy.  Whenever other kids came over to play they loved those swings too.  It was way better than any swing set ever made! We played with our toys and match box cars in the cool shade under there.  We had a nice patio made of granite pieces that we helped Daddy to make under the tree and had a picnic table and entertained a lot when family and friends came over.  We spent many hot summer days and evenings out there under that huge tree, it was a landmark.  Before Daddy got sick the tree started dying and they had a the limbs cut out of the top but it never was the same.  That old tree is gone now, only a huge stump is left where it proudly stood and sheltered us all those years.  It just isn't the same without it there and it makes me sad. It was like him and Daddy were gone around the same time and it breaks my heart but the memories made are forever. 
Sweet Summertime Memories

The summers are so hot and humid these days, I don't remember it being so hot back in my growing up days.  I love reminiscing about those long, sweet days of summer.  Daddy always planted a garden full of home grown goodness, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, okra, corn, etc. every summer and we had to help in it but the reward was eating yummy goodness at the table on those warm summer evenings and eating juicy tomato sandwiches.  My brother and I had to go out in the evenings and pick butter beans and green beans and we sat on upside down buckets and get bit by the mosquitoes and be hot and whiny.  We would take turns having to go to the bathroom and would stay gone quite a while longer to waste time. There was something about that dirt between your toes though and the smells of fresh veggies that just made life feel just homey.  I loved helping plant the seeds after Daddy hoed the holes in rows, from those little paper bags.  What I wouldn't give now for a nice garden with Daddy out there working hard in it with his white t shirt and hat on.  The old garden spot is just part of the yard now but the memories are still vivid in my mind of how full and beautiful it was.  Those were sweet memories that I will never forget.  Most kids nowadays don't know the value of a good garden and planting seeds and watching them blossom and grow and caring for them so carefully.  I am so thankful for the times we spent together growing a garden, not just growing food but learning how to work hard for things and how good God is to provide for us always.