Outdoors

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo. The prompt: Outdoors

 

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Tree Farm 2008

 

Outdoors…

Where my family of 4 played, walked, explored, planted, vacationed and amassed countless memories.

We also discovered…it was the only place where you could carefully pick out a Christmas tree.

From many tree options.

And cut it down yourself.

For 28 years we piled into the car and drove the few miles to a local Christmas tree farm. Usually in early December. In later years, when the kids were in college, we went the weekend after Thanksgiving – so they could both participate.

It began with just my husband and me. Then with our daughter. Five years later our son completed the family group. His first visit, at age 4 weeks, was in a front pack I wore close to my chest.

Up and down the paths we’d search. The kids running ahead. Often in different directions (hence no photos from those years)…Here’s one! No, here’s one! Look I found it! What about THIS one?

We hunted for just the right tree. Tall, but not too tall. Wide, but not too wide. No big gaps (or gapes as they used to giggle) between the branches.  We also learned to avoid the blue spruces with their prickly needles. Sometimes it took a while for nature to cooperate with our requirements. And often there was snow to tromp through…adding to the adventure and challenge.

We’d agree – finally – on the perfect (or near perfect) choice. Cut it down. Carefully tie it to the roof of the station wagon. And bring it home.

If we weren’t buying it that day, we attached a tag with our name written on it to the top branch. Nearer to December 25th, we’d return – with our handsaw. And hopefully remember where our tagged tree was!

Once our children stopped coming home for Thanksgiving to participate in the weekend tree tagging, this tradition came to its natural end in 2009 – our last family trip to the tree farm.

 

2004 copy
2004
2003 tree027 copy
2003

 

 

Trees

This post inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #50

The prompt – Trees

I enjoyed trees all around me at my former home. In the quiet neighborhood where we raised our two children. Surrounded by…red maple, white birch, oak, dogwood, hemlocks, peach and apple trees.

We discovered some were hardier than others.

A favorite survivor was the white dogwood…

dogwood

…framed by a red maple and an oak tree that we planted as a baby in the ’90’s. Tucked in the backyard. Birches and hemlocks peeking out from behind.

The maple tree planted by the town stood curbside and center in the front yard. Transformed to white after a late winter snowstorm during our final year there…

snow maple
It lasted over 30 years…
Still standing the day we moved out.

 

 

Green

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #51: Green

 

tree 2 copy

This was the view outside my home a few days ago.

The color green is everywhere.

Spring time explains it…before the heat of summer dries the grass to a crispy brown.

There is something comforting about blue + yellow.

I chose green as the color for my first bedroom-of-my-own when I was 11 years old. Emerald green carpet. Green diamond patterned wallpaper (which I loved, even though it aggravated the paper hanger). The only green in the house. A marked contrast to my sisters’ purple and pink florals.

The woods I explored. The leafy tree I climbed. The grass I sprawled out on. Looking up…studying cloud formations.

When I was seven…my favorite dress.

My birthstone…

All green.

Photo a Week – Sunshine

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week – Sunshine

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF SUNSHINE

 

When the sun is shining, everything feels a bit better.
Warmer.
Creating a bright space for peeking.
Out a doorway.
Or a window.
Through the trees.

Inspiring songs, poems, smiles…and photographs.

A favorite part of living across the street from the ocean for 3 months?
This view out the balcony door on a magnificent sunny day…

sunshine beach

 

 

A favorite part of taking a walk last Saturday?
Discovering the sunshine…framing the trees.
Behind the main street…down a short hill…next to the river…
In my new hometown.

sunshine river