Black cherry is what it is called by the app on my phone that identifies most trees accurately. To me, it just looks lonesome for want of children to swing from its branches.
“Nope, I answered. “But I have been working on that a long time.”
The kid’s name was Haven; he was five years old, and learning to use his powers of observation. How does one complain about that?
If the history of our planet could be compressed into 24 hours, we humans would account for little more than a minute. About nine minutes before that, dinosaurs roamed the globe, until a big rock fell from the sky, blew a hole in the ground somewhere south of Mexico, and evolved the dinosaurs into extinction.
In real time, about 250 million years ago, dinosaurs left footprints that became filled in with sand and other sediments, which compressed and would eventually decorate the capstone on rock walls of certain bridges where men fought and killed each other so their leaders could continue, or not, to base an economy on the unpaid labors of other men.
Let’s call him Jimmy. He is 31, more or less, from the town in which his father and mother were born. As a youngster, he knew nearly everyone within a mile or so of his home, and several who lived farther away. He rode his bicycle around the town, the way some kids where I live ride their bikes around Gettysburg.
“Sometimes we stacked concrete blocks in an alley, to hold up the end of a two-by-ten board,” he said. “Then we raced our bikes to see who could jump the longest.”
“I usually won,” the now father of four boasts.
“I should prefer to have some boy bend them, / As he went out and in …” Birches, by Robert Frost.
Better a boy than an ice storm should bend the birches. A girl could bend them, as well, if a girl is in the house, and requires exploratory forays into a nearby forest. To climb a really tall tree is to gain a sense of accomplishment not available to parents and other adults who are well advised to stick to the lower, thicker branches.
And to have Mom worried that you might fall is to have an opportunity to show her, “No, I won’t.” There is no finer feeling than to tell her you will not fall, and then prove it.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 12/6/2013)
Out on the westbound Pennsylvania Turnpike, there is a billboard announcing the upcoming New Stanton service area.
“Tantrum Averted,” it proclaims, the words above a picture of a young boy eating an ice cream cone and grinning. The lesson, for child and parent alike, is either the kids gets an ice cream cone or the parent gets to listen to screaming and pounding.
I graduated Eighth Grade in ceremonies held at the local Grange hall, next to the town fire station, at the other end of Church Street, where the town’s only church stood.
It was in the two-room school house, and on the way home from it, I learned about bullying, … Continue reading…
Of course, I hadn’t played pool in about 30 years. Maybe longer.
I had accompanied my son to the pool hall, where he is a regular competitor. I don’t know whether he’s ready for Las Vegas, but he’s pretty good. I am a good photographer, so I got several nice shots of him – through a low haze. There were a few guys and gals in the place who didn’t smoke. At least not directly.
I was raised with a father who smoked, mostly Phillip Morris, and a grandfather who smoked two packs of Tareytons a day. I swiped a pack from Dad’s stock … Continue reading …
We stop at the entrance to the beach, a couple miles south of Salvo on Highway 12, where the sign says four-wheel drive recommended, lower tire pressure to 20 pounds or less. I pull the shift into 4WD-Lo and head out for the Jeep’s first time on a beach. Continue reading Promises to a small child