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Sharon, I always enjoy your articles, and this is another great one. The baby socks for the star on top of the tree was so sweet - you made me cry! I bet your little brother still looks up to you. Thanks for starting my day with your Christmas story.
Sharon, add my name to the list of those who cried reading your charming story of the cedar tree. Cedar trees from the wild were always our family's tree, but one of my aunts was more affluent than the rest of the family. She always had a balsam and how I yearned for one of those instead of that plain old cedar tree. Now, of course, I realize that many families had cedars and my aunt was one of the few lucky enough to afford a balsam. After many years of fighting the artificial trees DH kept suggesting, I have finally yielded out of ecological and environmental concerns.
I'm so happy for you that you have a seedling of that tree from long ago and that your brother is alive to share this Christmas memory. God bless.
I too remember our red cedar tree at grand ma's , seemed we always used the top of a larger treee because the young ones would not be formed well.
When finished we would drizzle the tree with plenty of wonderful soft strands of shiny metal tensile.
This tensile was the favorite play toy of us kids.
( now we know the tensile was lead ... but we were a bit tougher then than now)
OH, I am sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry, but then I cry too when I remember that year. I promised my brother I would send the article to him, maybe I shouldn't do that.
Actually, Debilu, he looks down at me, he is so much taller than I, but yes, I do love my brother.
Pixie, thank you, memories do that to me, too, sometimes.
Hemophobic, I couldn't chop down a tree now if my life depended on it, I think, but at the time the cedars were in such abundance I didn't know there were others. I don't remember that anyone else ever had any other kind. And I know there are lots of them still growing in my mountains. I think next year mine might be big enough for lights outside. I have one in front and one in back, both really growing quickly.
Cathy, thank you, I am sure you have those lumpy throat memories, too.
Thanks Dryad, Merry Christmas to you, too, good to hear from you.
Redflowerpot, I forgot about the tensile, yes, we did use that too, and it clung to whatever it touched. Also stayed on the tree even after it was discarded. My favorite was the bubble lights.
Thank you all for writing. We have about an inch of snow today and it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I wish for all of you the very best holiday season.
Your stories always remind me of visiting my grandparents in West Virginia. The last time I ever visited my grandpa (before he died) I was on a genealogy hunt. We were hiking up this hill (a mountain to this native Floridian) looking for a cemetery. Apparently, there was one big one and two smaller ones. So after my dad explained to me that I needed to go up the point instead of around the holler (huh?) we found the big cemetery on top. On the way down, Dad had to answer the call of nature and stumbled upon one of the smaller cemeteries. I remember he yelled, "It's over by the cedar trees." I yelled back, "Which ones are the cedar trees?" Meanwhile, Grandpa had already started walking away from me as Dad responded, "The ones that look like Christmas trees!"
Now that I'm into butterfly gardening I have an Eastern Red Cedar in the hopes I can attract the uncommon Sweadner's Hairstreak. It uses the cedar as its host plant and is endemic to my area of Florida. But since most of Florida is being paved over it keeps losing habitat. I've already joked that when my cedar gets a little bigger I'm going to decorate it at Christmas-time. I don't think the butterflies would mind. Maybe the flashing lights will help guide them, LOL!
I remember going into the woods across the road from my house to get our Christmas tree. That was a family day in the woods. We'd get cedar mostly, but when they became scarce we went to pine. If I tried to do that today, I'd sure have to walk a lot further to get one. But then I got married and I live on a hill that's full of cedar trees. Our street is lined with them and the cemetery next door has the biggest cedars I've ever seen. Every year I find seedlings in my garden. There's also a community down the road a piece that's called Cedar Hill.
I pray your seedlings make it so you can have a piece of Home.