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Monday, March 20, 2017

Day Twenty of Thirty-One: Not My Tree

The trees here are pretty. They are scattered a bit. Not thick like a forest. Not like OUR backyard. These trees are nice though. One big downfall? They are not climbing trees. They are not my trees or my kids' trees. Just tall, look at me sway trees. Pretty but scary in a storm trees. They are, cross my fingers don't fall on the house because there is no other house, trees.

Two days before the fire, my son wrote a poem about his pine tree. He said I could post it here.

Pine Tree

Born in 1937...I think.
It is there I am there,
I climb sits there.
Pine tree

Pine tree, my safe haven, my
pine tree. cold hard sap
globs. Still climbing, pine tree.

100 years, it waits until
I come. My safe haven.
My...pine tree.

~Elliot Hubbard
November 2, 2017

Every time I read his poem, it gets to me. We all love that tree. It's been there for as long or longer than the house. I wonder where he got the year? A guess I suppose. He would always climb that tree. He would climb so high, higher than he should. He could see everything from up there. He'd sit and sometimes startle me when I'd come looking for him. It was always one of those things I questioned.  Should I let him climb it? Is it too high? It was one of those "parenting" calls that I decided to let him figure out. You decide what your limit is, but be careful for goodness sake (he wasn't going to the top mind you)!
I'm not sure what the fate of our good ol' pine tree will be. We've left it in the builder's hands and asked him and his crew to say a few words should they need to cut it down. It did go up with the house a bit. I remember seeing the flames as they climbed up the side and being sadder because of it. There's a chance it could bounce back. I guess time and necessity will tell. Whatever the outcome, I'll remember the times I had to wash sap out of Elliot's hair and clothes and yell for him to come in for dinner from the branches.


  1. I love his poem! And his relationship with the tree reminds me of the book Flipped.

  2. Wow, this is wonderful. I so love your son's poem - what a lovely tribute, too. It reminded me of when I was a kid and enjoyed spending time up in a tree in our yard. This is where I'd go for a bit of refuge from my dear loving-but-big-and-loud family. I'd climb the tree with my notebook or journal or book, and read or write, sit and think, reflect and ruminate....all within the safety of its branches. My own mother had to was sap from my clothes, no doubt, a time or two.

  3. Trees have so much personality and character. To many people they are just another tree. Elliot's poem was apparent his connection to the tree. Hopefully the big beauty can endure.

  4. Elliot's poem is amazing! What a great story today. I hope, for all of you, the tree sticks around and bounces back!

  5. Betsy - thank you for sharing your son's words and for honoring this beautiful gift of nature. I was moved by your compassion to "say a few words" if the tree has to come down. If you aren't familiar, you and your son should read Christmas Tree - it will touch your hearts.

  6. What a sweet tribute to a tree and to your sons memory of the tree and to your memory of your son in the tree.

  7. Your poetic nature is surely part of Elliot too. I loved his poem. I hope the tree makes it!

  8. So moved by this slice. So many visuals came to mind of you and your son. Tears.