Sepia Saturday – Tribute to a Tree

Thank you. Good bye. Tomorrow you will be a memory.

The ice storm was too much for you.

It wasn’t the first time you were damaged by weather.
Winds took your branches from time to time.

But the ice storm left you bare and sparse.

A Bradford Pear, your wood is not hard.
Your lifespan is not long.
Your structure is weak.
No match for another ice storm or high wind.

I’ll miss you. You have been prominent in the view from my healing place.

Now is the time of year I would enjoy your white blossoms against a blue sky.

You were home to squirrels and their antics.
Squirrels who provoked barking and scolded back.

On hot summer days, squirrels sought relief on your lowest branches.

Or rested on a cool cement cherub in your shade.

Lizards made their home among your branches too.

And sometimes did yoga poses on a sunny day.

Birds found a place to rest mid-flight, or waited their turn for the bird bath and feeder.
black-crested titmouse

I once spotted a neighboring roadrunner in your branches, but they were more often seen coming for a drink in your shade on a hot day.

During heat and drought, you kept your green leaves,
unlike the cypress which turned brown and lost everything in the heat
except its branches.

A poem from the book of Jeremiah sustained me through my last couple of cancers. Looking at the two of you provided the perfect illustration.

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is in the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its root by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Like you, I wanted my leaves to stay green during my year of drought and I prayed to continue to bear fruit, in whatever form that might take.

In the fall, your leaves changed, providing colors that not many of our local trees can.

One year I took an art class and your leaves were my models.

I watched as the workmen deftly brought you down, limb by limb.
Although I walked away for a minute and missed the finale!

What is left of you reminds me of a dinosaur track.

The view will never be the same.
We will miss your shade in the heat of the summer
and the life and activity that you sustained in your branches.

Thank you.

Good bye.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday. To make the jump from the present to the past, I offer an image of Frank N. Meyer, credited with introducing 2500 plant species to the United States, including Callery pears, ancestors to our Bradford pears.

Photograph, Frank Meyer in Chinese Turkestan.Record Group 54.Series: Photograhs from the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction.Still Pictures Identifier: 54-FS-5624.Rediscovery Identifier: 2228

Follow me to Sepia Saturday, where bloggers are looking up today.

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. If you want to play along, sign up to the link, try to visit as many of the other participants as possible, and have fun.

The Weekly Journal Project #4

I decided to post a weekly journal (again!) Feel free to join me. Just post a journal entry on Monday summarizing the previous week. Or make your journal a photo a day. Whatever you like. If you are a family history researcher, you know it is good to remember to document your own life! Link your journal entry in the comments of my post so I’ll be sure to read it and so will anyone else who sees it. If more people join, maybe I’ll learn how to do a “linky”party.

Week of August 29-September 4, 2022

I think I’ll do things a bit differently this week. More pictures, less text. It’s the change in the weather that had me taking photos this week. The extremely hot temperatures are over (although unfortunately hitting the western states) and we have had rain. Measurable. More than once. What a difference it has made! I can feel fall in the air – at least in the mornings. Some photos are from walks in the neighborhood and some from our yard.

Leaves from a crepe myrtle fell onto a ground cover below, making it look as though the ground cover is in bloom. 8/312022
On the same walk. My daughter tells me this is datural (Jimsonweed)
Woke up to a new cilantro plant half-eaten. I couldn’t see the culprit at first and wondered if it had been a bunny, but then I found 6 cilantro-colored caterpillars.

Yesterday I took several pics of the wonderful blooms that are now not few, but plentiful.

The crepe myrtle in the backyard suddenly full of blooms
Passion flower is now blooming abundantly. They are so beautiful, but I consider this an invasive species now and am frequently upset by it.
Beauty berry in the front. Deer leave them alone. We might try to make a small batch of jelly.

Alas, not everything is beautiful.

A front bed full of weeds and dead stuff. I started working on it, but it got too hot.

I have taken so many walks at 8:30 or 9 pm this summer and it was still so hot and nearly unbearable – well, sometimes I just turned around and went back inside because it was unbearable. Last night was wonderful. A breeze. Temp in the 80s. You can’t appreciate 85 with a breeze unless you’ve tried to walk after sunset when it is 95, still, and feels like 100.

The sunset caught my eye on my walk. 9/4/2022

In other news this week:
Posted two family history/Sepia Saturday posts.
Eveline’s Senior Year: Produce, Preserve, Conserve
Eveline’s Senior Year: Graduation Memorabilia

Husband and I watched the movie Elvis. T and I started watching The Crown.

Finished reading Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. Most of the members of the church book group thought the book was mediocre. I will say I learned some things from it and it gave me more to think about. My opinion was not as negative as some, but I didn’t feel that the author made the case for using the term “mediocre” as her title. I think most people wanted a bit more at the conclusion.
Finished audiobook The Fatal Pursuit

Finished adding my encouraging sentences to 50 Get Out the Vote postcards and picked up 50 more.

Our pastor has been using the following as the benediction for a while. I finally googled it so I’d know all the words. And so it will be my benediction as well:

Life is short. We don’t have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind. ~ Henri-Frederic Amiel

My New Weekly Journal without a Name #2

I’ve wondered about a name for this new journaling plan.
The Week That Was
Monday Musings
Look Back Monday
Mirror Monday
Not sure what I will land on, but I haven’t decided and am open to suggestions.

In any case, I would love to have you join me! For now, just link your own blog journal post as a comment here so I can read yours and so can anyone else who comes for a visit. Or you can post yours on Facebook page or whatever makes you happy. There really aren’t any rules. You can just post a picture a day and maybe add a little text. Or just write a little summary of your week. Add a photo or two if you like. Just do it! Some of us research family history and we shouldn’t neglect ourselves. You don’t need to be as wordy as I seem to be! The plan is to post on Mondays.

Monday, August 15, 2022

* I have kept a bullet journal since I had terrible chemo brain about seven years ago. I’m much better now, but I find I still need to keep it going or I just don’t get things done. I stopped using the weekly chart I would make of daily tasks to do, and just made short daily lists along with brief journalling. You would think I would keep up with the ordinary tasks of life, but I don’t. So I put a chart back in the journal to get myself back on track. Day 1!
* R, who I teach English to a couple of times a week on zoom, is delightful. I love how she laughs at her mistakes.
* Practiced zoom stuff for ESL class – I always get a bit stressed, but it looks like what we want to do will work. Our plan is to offer concurrent zoom and in person classes beginning 9/19.
* Picked up 50 Get Out the Vote postcards to sign.
* First entry of this journal written and posted.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

* When I taught R today, she thought the concept of a mobile home was hilarious.
* Attended zoom discussion of Mediocre.
* T and I are slowly clearing out stuff. She uses Facebook Marketplace and I use the Buy Nothing group. Sold a wicker love seat we have had for many years! Why must I work puzzles from the closet before giving? I have to see if all the pieces are there, right?
* Thinking about our very hot and dry summer and the changes we have made to save the Texas electric grid. Will we continue to be diligent about turning off and unplugging nearly everything? Keeping the shades drawn to keep out the heat? Keeping the thermostat at 78?
A nearly bare tree in our yard and the “greenbelt” that has caused me to worry about wildfires.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

* Posted more stuff to Buy Nothing.
* Hot!
* Finished audiobook of The Patriarch, a Bruno, Chief of Police book. And started the next one – Fatal Pursuit

Thursday, August 18, 2022

* ESL book group finished reading Holes. All enjoyed it. I’m trying to figure out how we can watch it together.
* Took a Thundercloud sub to Pastor Cathy and then I helped her finish signs for the Pride Parade. I knew I wouldn’t be attending, but I participated a little bit.

* I left the church and had to drive home in quite a downpour. We have not had measurable rain for 51 days, so it was very welcome, but a little scary to drive through. Tapered off a little after I got home and took this picture.

Friday, August 19, 2022

* ESL book group reading Mystery Ranch. Always enjoyable. One more week.
* Took my friend to lunch for her birthday. She is the one whose party I missed last week. We had a lot of catching up to do.
* Then a long talk with T about some things she is planning which would not be close to home. 🙁
* Lots of talk about travel swirling around me. Pastor Cathy is encouraging to go on the Civil Rights trip in October. She and I made the trip before the pandemic to test out her travel plan before opening it up to a group, but the group trip had to be been postponed until this fall. Also, M ate lunch with some of his cousins who want to take a trip to Sicily in May. Since the Whipple surgery, I don’t have an amenable gut in the morning, so if I want to travel, I’m going to have to see if there is anything I can do to improve the situation. Decided I’ll eliminate dairy for a few weeks and see if that helps. But not until Monday! I’ll finish the gelato in the fridge first!
* Received a notice from the HOA about this recycling bin – which included this image as proof. It’s a long story. The city took our bin without our knowledge, so we requested a new one, and we ended up with two. They are supposed to pick this up!

Saturday, August 20, 2022

My goal for the day was to finish a blog post for Sepia Saturday. I’m stuck. Gave up before dinner, worked on the next puzzle from the closet and watched some James Taylor on PBS. Nostalgia!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

I was up and dressed and ready to go to church – if I were going. I just watched on youtube. But – I’m working on breaking the slovenly Sunday habit.
Still trying to finish that blog post! I know I am making it too hard. I did a lot of research, but I don’t want to write a research paper! This is supposed to be fun and easy, but … still not done! Argh!

That’s it! Have a good week and I hope to read about yours!