News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Mike Lunsford

September 20, 2009

The Off Season: Reminiscing on a birthday brings back fond memories of trees

It is a lazy late-summer Sunday afternoon as I write this; it is also my birthday, and as I sit at my desk today and watch through my window as warm breezes sift through maple leaves, memories of trees other than those in my front yard come back to me, and I open them like brand new gifts.

Our house is a quiet one for now; my son, restless as ever, is on the road. My daughter, visiting for the day, naps on a couch. My wife is stretched out in a chair getting well-deserved down time away from cooking and schedules; she yawns and stretches like a house cat. I hear only a fan as it hums in a corner.

We all have been hard-pressed to speak in these past few hours and break the cool quietness of our house that we feel we have earned by a

week of work.

My memories of trees are not serious or painful or tiring things, but rather are the comfortable kind, old-shoe reminiscences that take me home, when my parents were younger than my age, and the thought of having “nothing to do” made me itch to move much more than I want to scratch now.

I lived in a place where fat, tall red oaks and big smooth beeches stood. Those trees are, for the most part, gone now. A few were cut, a few more blown down by big winds, and some simply grew old and gave up their relentless push upward. I loved living where I did, and I spent much of my time under and around and in our trees.

I have never envied children today when I see them punching at phones and racing through digitalized streets with a plastic controller in their hands; I had a bigger world to conquer on foot.

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Mike Lunsford
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