Out of the blue, I got a call from Betty Jo Lambard, a kindred soul in Clarke County with a story to share. She told me about a remarkable tree at the house where she grew up near Thomasville. While on the trip we met some remarkable people that made me feel humbled at the blessings I sometimes forget to acknowledge in my daily life. I need those "wake up call" trips often. Before we could go see the remarkable tree, we got permission from the owners of the old home place.
"I've been taking care of them," the man said, with no sign of hope in his voice. "It's been a long time."
After we talked for a while, we headed on to the old house, permission generously granted.
And we got the chance to do some plundering. The old house was abandoned a few years back, with clothes and papers and beds still intact. It was haunting walking through the rooms listening to the silence where sounds of living once filled this home.
And the fruit trees all around the old home place take me back to my own childhood. We enjoyed summertime figs, peaches, apples, plums and blueberries. We picked dewberries in the spring from overgrown fence rows. And in late summer there were pears. Tender, juicy pears. I loved the twisted hollow tree and eating the first yellow fruit of the year. A week into the season, and several would litter the ground attracting hornets and wasps making the pickings treacherous-- but worth it.
There are a few trees that I hold close to my heart, and that pear tree was one of them. The tree at my home place died a few years back.There's nothing left but a low place in the ground and a heart filled with memories. I miss it when I go back, walking across the ground that would have been littered with blooms by now. So I understood the excitement surrounding the Clarke County tree. Once I saw it, I understood the adoration.
Few things in life endure like trees towering above us, lending shade, hiding places and fruit in season. And it is always a blessing to find friends with kindred hearts.
Stay tuned for the upcoming column and let me know if you know of any unusual out-of-the-way places with great stories. I'd love to write about them.