The Family Tree

Tree on house

Like many people in Kentucky, my parents endured the past couple of weeks without power because of the ice storm. At the current time, there are still people without power and it’s going on the third week! Being without power and everyday amenities can be stressful and very inconvenient. I’ve endured it before, but not the way they are suffering now. The thing is that having those modern inconveniences is a short-term headache, but the long-term effects are less like a headache and more like heartache.

Case in point: My parent’s giant hickory tree is no longer with us. The ice got soooo heavy that all the branches leaned over swiping the house as you can see above. Luckily the house didn’t face any major damage. At some point, the tree cracked in two. There was no choice but to excavate it.

The sad thing is that I don’t know for sure if it is a hickory tree. I’ll have to check with my mom for sure. I’m by no means a nature nut (pun kinda intended), but I know this tree produced nuts. It produced a lot of them that would fall to the ground and stab me in the foot if I ever went outside barefoot. I researched it a bit, and I think it to be a Mockernut Hickory. We had another hickory tree that produced much larger husks, but this one had small nuts with a small shell all around.

Well, back to my story. The tree had always been a go-to for get togethers. It was a refuge from the heat, because of the shade it produced. Here’s a picture of us sitting outside under it at one gathering. My little nephew Brock (who was 3 at the time) was making giant bubbles!

brock & the giant bubble

This tree was also a backdrop for many, many photos. My dad loves taking photos where someone is eithing peeping behind a tree or standing in front of it. I think this was his favorite tree to pose his subjects on. Here’s a pic of me (at age 10 or so, complete with a very bad haircut) and a photo of my sister Sophia posing behind the tree.


And here’s a photo I took 11 years or so ago of my day with his 70’s Chevy truck and the tree as a backdrop. I looked for a photo of just the tree the way it was and I did not have one. Kinda sad.

dad with truck

And like a lot of kids, around the age of 9 or so, I begged and begged for a swing. My dad hoisted himself up onto the seat of his tractor and tied rope around the limb for a very special swing for Sophia and I. He even made us a custom woodburned seat! My mom found it and sent me this pic.

swing seat1

I don’t remember Sophia swinging on it all that much, but I sure did. I would swing out there (I remember I had to control it or I would slam right into the tree) for hours making up VERY random songs. I remember them being like, “Here I am…in the world…with a beautiful rose…and it is so lovely”. Totally made up off the top of my head. The sad/not so sad thing is that I still do this, but usually in a situation with other people (maybe that’s worse?).

And now the tree is no more. My mom said the tree service guys helped my dad cut it up and haul it away. Now all that is left are some wood chips where the trunk once was.

It really saddens me to know that it’s not going to be there anymore. My mom said she’s definitely going to miss the shade. The house will probably be warmer in the summertime as a result. Also, we won’t have a central spot to hang as a family. I guess we will have to relocate to another spot, but I will miss our spot there under that tree. I guess you just don’t know how much you love something until it’s gone, huh?

Well, I guess I should look on the bright side for my dad’s sake, though. It’s one less tree he’ll have to mow around!

Until next time Swellions!



  1. says

    Actually, the tree broke and fell onto the house, Alexa; but the branchs were already hanging close to the house from the weight of the ice so it did not fall hard. And it was a hickory. Mostly I’m thankful that the ice storm did not happen while Dad was moving you to sunny CA.

  2. Julie Andrea says

    Oh my, what a shame. Maybe you can salvage some of the tree and have a little ‘something – something’ made out of it? .. a bowl, a cutting board, a bench .. a crochet hook?

  3. says

    Cathie: Yeah, natural disasters aren’t fun.

    Mom: I guess I would have had to been there. I forget details.

    Kathy: Thanks for your positive thoughts.

    Julie: Well, I think they already hauled it off. I agree, it’s always good if you can salvage something to remember it later.

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