Aragorn: Gimli, lower your axe.
Legolas: They have feelings, my friend. The elves began it, waking up the trees, teaching them to speak.
Gimli: Talking trees. What do trees have to talk about, hmm… except the consistency of squirrel droppings? ~Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
Being sick now for weeks, I am finally on the road to recovery, even though these rainy windy days like today, make it hard to get out of bed, sick or not. Recently, I was thinking back to what had happened over the last several weeks, while I was under the weather. Actually, a lot went on. Over the next few days, I will start to document the stories.
Sunday, April 20th was Easter! A day I slept most of the daylight hours. I did get to play Kyle at Quarto, a strategy game I purchased for him for Easter from a store in the Mall of America in Minnesota. Naturally, Kyle won the first game. I truly thought I had this game in the bag, but alas I was proven wrong again by a twelve year old.
On Saturday, however, it was a beautiful sunny day and I was feeling well enough to help dad in the yard.
The event of planting trees actually started way back in December over Christmas. We purchased Chestnut trees for dad and had them mailed this spring. Perfect Gift – Chestnut Trees Guess what? They came in! Boy was dad elated! He was looking forward to this day since he heard about his perfect gift.
What really makes these trees significant to plant around Easter, is that the orchard was always a big part of our Easter celebration. Every year since Kyle was a wee one, we would fill multi-colored plastic eggs with money and candy and hide them around the orchard. Yes mom and I would go out in the middle of the night after Kyle went to bed, usually late, and hide the eggs with the help of flashlights. Then, it never failed, Kyle would wake up at 3:00 am, sometimes 4:00 am and want to go out and hunt Easter eggs left by the Easter bunny. Even though the rest of the family remained in bed, I always got up with him, wrapped a blanket around me, slipped on my rubber boots, grabbed the flashlight and trotted out to the backyard.
Kyle always had a blast! It was nice seeing the kid so excited in the morning, even though it was usually so dark it was hard to see him at all. My job, was to count the findings to make sure no egg was left behind. Although, it never failed, while mowing in the spring we would always find an egg or two. I guess I didn’t do such a great job at counting.
This year that tradition didn’t take place, since Kyle is nearly thirteen, but it didn’t mean we couldn’t go outside and sit among our trees and freshly planted crops.
That orchard holds a lot of memories, memories when Ryan was still with us. Ryan helped to plant some of the original trees and he always mowed and weeded the area. It was nice to have Kyle a part of that tradition and have his roots grow among the memories and stories of dad’s orchard.
When I say the family participated, I mean the entire family. Nicole and Avery were home; the boys, Seven and Scooby; Storm and naturally the rest of us. We all joined forces to plant the trees. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a pretty day, especially before Easter.
We dug up a couple of trees that had died over the years. Dad was hoping each year would bring renewed life back into the brittle dead branches, but no such luck. We pulled those out, believe it or not with the help of the pick-up truck. Digging up the dirt around the roots to loosen the deceased cherry tree, dad wrapped a chain around the trunk and attached it to the truck, then gave it the gas. With the help of Kyle and me loosening the dirt and pushing on the tree, the roots surfaced and we drug it to the burn pile, leaving a new hole for another life to flourish.
The day consisted of planting new trees, including finding a home for dad’s elephant ear tree and another chestnut tree. There are about twenty fruit trees in dad’s orchard, ranging from paw paw to plum and peach and naturally apple. He’s very proud of those trees and his blueberry bushes.
The weekend before Easter, I was in Minnesota for my good friend Davey’s wedding. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Seminary That’s when Kyle helped dad plant the original two Chestnut trees purchased over Christmas. They also planted a couple of mulberry bushes and a mystery tree that lost its tag.
During the day of playing in the dirt and hauling saplings back and forth, Dad kept saying to Kyle and the inadvertently the rest of us, “When I kick off, now you can go out and have a piece of fruit and think of me. You’ll always have food with these trees.”
He’s right, it is nice having fruit trees in the back yard. I enjoy them too, not only for the fruit but also for shade and the beauty of the trees, but more importantly for the memories of planting the trees with the family and watching them grow. Perhaps that is the most valuable part of dad’s orchard.
On a side note, during the day the neighbor boy Philip was out walking his dog Thor. They stopped over to say hi and visit. Avery was excited to see another dog, as was Seven. Scooby on the other hand, had to be placed in dad’s truck for the duration of the visit, he’s not very nice. We call him the enforcer or the grumpy old man. While in the front seat of the truck, which he usually rides shotgun, no one would have thought Scooby, would do what he did. He jumped out the window! Yes! He pulled an underdog and flew out the open window and charged Thor. Dad broke up the little altercation without incident.
Personally, I stood in shock. Our nonathletic, clunky and slow moving dog jumped out of a truck window, down on the side of a hill and was able to speed past us like the breeze. Truly amazing! I guess he meant business when he barked, ‘No one on our property’.
It was a great Easter weekend. I continued the tradition mom started when we were kids by giving Kyle books in his Easter basket. This year it was the rest of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. Kyle started to read them and seemed to be enjoying the books, so I fueled his journey. I love his love for reading! Every chance I get, I reward him in books, and he’s excited about it! Mom continued the tradition of receiving a kite, or two in Kyle’s case.
Can’t wait to enjoy the shade of our newly planted trees and pick the fruit they produce! I was also told by Mr. Kyle that I would enjoy reading the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series and he wants me to read them too. I guess I have a new series to start!
Happy Belated Easter!