Oh Brother! The Forest and the Trees

My brother came back to Iowa for a visit. He lives in North Carolina. He doesn’t visit real often, the last time he was here was when Ma died. Thursday we went to the cemetery and put flowers on Ma and Dad’s grave,and on the way there the subject of trees came up. My dad planted a grove of oak trees for someone when he was 16. The trees are getting good sized now, but oak trees are slow growing. And after we got back to Cedar Falls we drove around town to see the changes from when he was a kid. The house we lived in until 67 is still there. They put a breezeway to link the house to the garage, it’s a loong breezeway. Curiously, growing up I remember a lot of snakes in the yard and garden, I moved back to CF in 95 and I haven’t seen a snake here since then. My brother used to mow lawns with an old reel type push mower. He saved up to buy a gas powered mower. {as an aside, I’m not heat tolerant. Mowing about kills me. One year I had the bright idea to use a reel type mower so I could mow at night when it’s cooler and not get busted for a noise ordinance. When I went out to look at the lawn in the morning it reminded me of a Far Side comic. You see a guy and his dog outside with a few mower swipes cut into the lawn and the guy saying to the dog, “You call that mowing the yard? Bad Dog! No Biscuit!” I never tried mowing at night again.} Back in those days we walked everywhere. It was about three miles each way to go to the pool. And there was a neat looking tree on 18th street. The top of the tree broke off during a storm in 09, it sprouted some new growth from the trunk, maybe it’ll keep growing. It was unique in that many many years ago someone planted 4 trees, 2 on either side of the sidewalk, and then when they got big enough they were grafted together to form an arch. It became a landmark. There used to be another odd tree by the university. It was carved into a sculpture of an Indian by someone who didn’t like the city telling him to cut down the dead tree. In the late 80’s it was taken down and pumped full of preservatives then put back up. That pissed the artist off too. He offered to carve another tree if they let the first rot. He had wanted the rotting tree to symbolize our culture or something like that {see previous post about artists}. Then I showed them the parking lot where my apartment used to be. When my aunt from Boston visited I showed her the spot where the house she grew up in used to be. It’s a Hardee’s parking lot now. And I pointed out where the drive in theater used to be. It’s an apartment building AND a parking lot now. The pool we used to go to is gone now too. The house where my older siblings lived before I was born is still there. It’s next to a lake. The lake didn’t use to be there. On an earlier visit I showed him that. It was his wife’s first visit to Iowa {he’s a widower, he had just recently gotten remarried.} He pointed across the water and told her, that’s the way we used to walk to school.

All in all, it was a good visit.

4 thoughts on “Oh Brother! The Forest and the Trees

    1. wildoats1962 Post author

      I’m not sure why some stumps start regrowing and others don’t. Trees are some of the oldest living things. The Baobab trees are so old { I think 10,000 years } that they started growing when the Sahara wasn’t a desert. The seedlings don’t grow because of the climate. Some perennials survive very long periods of time, they start forming rings as the centers start dying and the runners keep spreading. I forget which magazine it was, but they rated pets on a variety of characteristics that included age. The Galapagos tortoise scored high despite not being very demonstrative because they live a couple of hundred years.


  1. wildoats1962 Post author

    And some people don’t include plants when they talk about life. I think they have an awareness that we just don’t notice. And vegans take note, if you don’t want to eat dead things learn to photosynthesize.



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