My love/hate relationship with trees


Tinker Lautar, a childhood friend, wrote me this morning reminding me that in the spring of 1959 our 6th grade class planted a magnolia tree at East Side Elementary in observance of Arbor Day.  (Arbor Day in Mississippi is the second Friday in February.)

I remember it like it was yesterday down to what I was wearing which was jeans with a skirt on top.  (My mother didn’t believe that women should wear


pants but in combo with a skirt it was okay if a tad tacky.)  I remember that event better than what I did yesterday, since my short term memory seems to short out every once in a while.

We all stood outside on that cold gray day and thought we were doing something really important.  Of course we were, and I still pull around the side of the school when I visit my hometown to check out its progress.  It’s HUGE.  And beautiful.


I do love trees, but they have become my nemesis at the same time.  I live in an old house in an old neighborhood with huge oaks which put out babies each spring to be categorically dug up.  They prevent my homegrown tomatoes from proliferating properly and have roots the size of a dozen alligators which suck up the moisture from my flowers.

I have six oaks around the periphery of my house which cause me great consternation whenever it storms.  I have recurring dreams about one falling on my kitchen.  They get pruned naturally during each tornado which threatens, and I spend hours picking up branches – some the size of trees themselves!

Lucky Dawg, Rebel and I have spent many tense moments in the hall closet underneath all the coats until the weather alert fades out.  They hate those moments, can’t understand this quirky behavior and don’t like it one bit.

As tornedo season approaches, I considered cutting a couple of the trees so I could grow more vegetables and sleep easier during storms.   But no.  My house has survived 140 years of storms and I’m hoping it will carry me through one more season. 

5 thoughts on “My love/hate relationship with trees

  1. The last time I was in West Point, I drove by East Side Elementary. There are many memories associated with the school….the hackberry trees along the fence row that provided shade on the hot, fall days….the shrubs under the front windows of the school where secrets were shared at recess….the hard packed clay front playground where we had the May Pole every spring….and the Magnolia tree that we planted in 6th grade. I can’t remember what I wore that day, but I do remember my part in the class performance….I recited three stanzas of the poem, “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. …
    “I think that I shall never see
    A poem as lovely as a tree.”

    Sweet memories…..

  2. Did ya’ll remember that the red brick house next door to East Side Elementary……going toward town…..was our childhood home? Mom or the maid, or whomever was there, would hand us treats over the fence at recess! Memories!

  3. Hmmm Huleeta – did not know that. Trying to place it. The Mitchell’s lived on other side I recall. One of the things our class isplanning is a tour with a guy who knows all of west point’s history. We!re hoping to take that little train and roam around the town recalling what used to be, Cant wait. Will try to video or at least take photos to post later.

  4. Want to be updated on that trip. Who were the sixth grade teachers? Trying to remember mine – McLemore? Y’all were in the other class.

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