Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Apple Tree

When I was a little girl growing up, we had a tree in our backyard that had the greatest branches for climbing- I'm not sure what kind of tree it was--I guess as a kid I never noticed--maybe it was an apple tree?  But He - and yes the tree was a He - became one of my best friends! 
Picture of a good climbing tree
As my sister was 9 years older than I was, I hardly ever remember doing things with her when I was young--she was usually involved in being with her friends, which is fair enough- and even though I lived in a neighbourhood with a lot of kids - even they weren't always available to play- their parents were taking them on a holiday or they were going to the dentist or doctor or to visit their Grandmother - or they had to have a nap--I've already talked about the nap stuff - so sometimes, it was just Tree and Me!

Well, we had a lot of adventures together, and sometimes these adventures could go on all afternoon, until the kids in the neighbourhood came looking for me.  Sometimes they joined in and we built tents with old blankets and sheets on the lower branches, and planned an Indian uprising, or a pirates treasure hunt, but sometimes they just climbed up on the branches and sat in the tree with me. Some silly ones tried to be Cheetah from Tarzan and usually ended up falling off the branch they were swinging on, squealing like a monkey.  I don't remember any of us ever getting hurt on Tree.  I think he looked after us--me especially.

When I was about 7 or 8, my parents gave me a 2-wheeler bike for my birthday. It had been a bike previously owned by my sister, but Dad painted it red, and put on a new seat, and bell, and made it special just for me. (There is a story there too - about fire departments and smells--but that can be another day.....)  The only problem was it was a 26" bike and I wasn't.  I had never ridden a bike before, and this one was huge!  So, when Spring finally arrived, and the snow was gone, I would lean the bike against Tree, and Dad would hold onto the back of it, as I climbed Tree and sat on the bike.  I felt scared and wonderful at the same time--it took some time, but Dad helped me gain my balance, and we biked around the backyard, until he didn't have to hold onto the bike any longer, and it was just me!  One day I travelled out into my neighbourhood, and with Dad following, I only fell down once, scraped a knee, but let it bleed, and he helped me climb back on...eventually- I was a bike rider! A real bike rider!

As time does, I got older and maybe a bit more grown up, I might have been about 10 years old by then,  Tree and I would read a book - My favourite was Alice in Wonderland, and Tree would love it when I read out loud. I think He loved the voices that all of the characters had- and I loved reading to him.

I had made a lot of other friends by then, but I always took the time to remember Tree. I liked how He always listened, and I told him a lot of secrets and we worried together over problems, but no matter what  - He was always there!

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