My Favorite Trees

Last week, the landscapers came and cut down my favorite tree. It seemed to have caught a disease and was on its last legs for the past year or two. I just kept putting off getting it cut down, hoping it would revive, but it never did. So this is all that's left of it:

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The kids would comment every spring, "Mom! Your favorite tree is blooming!" I love that they know that it was my favorite tree. I guess I would say so--a lot. It was in the front corner of our property and would greet us each day as we walked home from school, so I'm sure I pointed it out to them tons of times, especially when it bloomed.

If you look closely at the stump, you may be able to figure out why it was so special. If you are not into being a detective, I will show you a photo of it from when it was in full bloom when it was still healthy: 

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My favorite tree was actually two trees intertwined. (I think crabapple or cherry, I'm really not sure.) Each spring, it would show off it's mesh of light and bright pink blossoms, then would return to looking like a regular old "one" tree after the flowers fell. It was really beautiful, and was one of my favorite signs of spring. 

But don't fret, I still have my memories and photos. I also still have my second favorite tree in our front yard, just about 15 feet away from the stump. It's a Norway maple with beautiful dark purple leaves. When growing up, I always admired my neighbor's dark maple through our windows, so I was excited to have one in our yard.

Though I love the rich leaf color, my favorite thing about the tree is the memories we've had around it. My son has climbed high into its branches. The kids have build snow forts under it with the neighbors. We've tossed its helicopter seeds into the air, and also stuck them on our noses. We hung a bird feeder on its trunk.

But our favorite thing is the ratty old tree swing we hung from a branch. When my son was about 4, he and I decided that we'd make a ladder from rope and wood slats so he could climb up into the tree. After drilling holes in each end of the first slat, we hung it from the branch to see if it would work before we made the rest of the rungs. Well, my son decided that the slat made a much better tree swing than ladder, so it remained at one slat. The knots that held up the slat were very low to the ground to start with, to accommodate the kids' tiny preschool legs. As they grew, we raised the slat up and tied another knot. The kids often take a few swings while I pack up the car. In the fall, they would jump from the swing into piles of leaves. It's a great spot for a photo shoot, too. 

To this day, my kids (who are probably technically too heavy to swing from the skinny branch) and their friends swing on that little old slat. I have planned to take it down for years, but it holds so many memories, I think we'll keep it up a little longer.