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I Remember When...

This article first appeared in issue 35, and was written by Carolyn Edwards.

A few weeks ago someone who was thinking about buying a lot on which to build a new house asked me which I liked best:a wooded lot or a lot with no trees. Answers to questions many times depend on the experiences we've had as a child.

Certainly I've seen some lovely homes with woods as a perfect compliment-if someone else lives there. However, when I see a yard of trees, I remember my childhood home. Our farmhouse was surrounded by large maple trees that had been there for years. At a time of no air conditioning, I'm sure they were a blessing in the hot summer, but what I remember is my mother saying, "Carolyn, pick up the sticks from the yard."

Since the trees were so large and old, dead limbs abounded in the tops. Even the slightest wind sent a rain of small twigs and large limbs to the ground. Before every mowing of the yard, my chore was picking up sticks. After getting my little red wagon, I would start filling it with sticks. Mama required me to pick up everything from two inches up. Usually, I had to travel several times through the back gate and across the chicken yard to the burn pile, because if I loaded the wagon too high trying to save trips, the limbs would just fall off along the way.

As if eight months of picking up sticks wasn't enough, in October the leaves started falling. At least I had help on this chore. Mama and I would rake up a huge mound of leaves, then lay an old ragged quilt beside it. I would hold the quilt down while mama raked the leaves onto it. Grabbing two corners each, we would carry it to the garden for dumping, making numerous trips. My brother-in-law would then turn the leaves under when he plowed the garden.

At present I have two small ornamental trees in our yard and desire no more. To anyone wanting advice on this subject, I would say trees are fine. Just make sure you have a little red wagon handy!

This story was posted on 2001-06-15 12:01:01
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