“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath.”

~Michael Caine

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A swing in a tree

My dad visited us for the holidays. We had a wonderful time and thanks to him we were able to get a few projects done that had been on the back burner for a while. Emma and Tommy have so much fun on the swings that have been hung on the tree in our back yard. Yes, swing sets are fun but there is something nostalgic (for me) about a swing in a tree. It reminds me of my Granny and Poppy (I miss them both terribly) in Breaux Bridge Louisiana. There was a huge tree in their back yard. I cannot remember if it was a Pecan or Oak tree. But, I do remember the swing. It's long ropes hanging down from the branch way up top. It seemed to me at the time only someone as magical as my Poppy could get up that high to set it there. I can only wonder if Emma's perspective is the same. Though the tree looks average size to me, does it look monstrous and impossibly huge to her? I remember the fig tree with it's plump purplish fruit hanging from the branches that also adorned huge leaves that looked like something from Jurassic times. There was a rain gauge on the fence in the backyard that I loved to investigate after a weeks worth of rain. Adjacent to the carport, there was an apartment-like kitchen that was used for storage and extra space for large family gatherings. We used to make homemade ice cream there. As clearly as if it happened yesterday, I remember the sound of the machine as it whined with each turn of the paddle and the taste of the rock salt that I couldn't help but put the beautiful sparkling crystals to my lips. I remember the sound of their laughter and the way it made me feel. I used to sit and watch 'Young and the Restless' with my Granny. I wonder if the green floral print blanket that I used to wrap myself up in is still around. There was something so comforting about the smell of that blanket.
A very dear friend of mine gave me a much different perspective on memories. She said that when you think of people you miss the most, it's their way of visiting you when you miss them. Ever since she told me this, I have stopped being sad or lonely when I remember them. I cherish the memories I have with them and I hope that I am able to impart this valuable knowledge on my children.


beebee said...

Yes, I understand completely what you mean. Smell receptors, physiologically, are located so close to that portion of our brain that controls our memories that, the aroma of something from your past can evoke an entire flood of events. And I understand what you mean about people who have left us. I feel like Daddy visits me often. I must say that it was a priviledge to be a part of raising you. You are an extraordinary person, (albeit, with just a pinch of aggravation...)

Bay said...

We sure had a lot of good times in that backyard. The tree is an Oak tree that was planted when your Dad was very little and is still standing. My best memory is of you was when you were about two years old. You used to strip off all of your clothes and around the backyard naked, laughing because Poppy was chasing you to pinch that cute little butt. I'm sure the blanket is still around since Momma would never have thrown it away. If it's the one I'm thinking of, then I still have it.

Andy said...

A few memories:

1. The tree had a girdle. Poppy was trying to train a branch away from the house with a pulley, cable, and some lead weights in a bucket.

2. He hated woodpeckers, and would sit on the back steps with his Benjamin pellet gun, trying to pick them off. I don't remember him hitting one, though.

3. I think it was a Live Oak, because I don't remember any leaves.

4. Holy crap, that tree was huge.