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Up a Tree

I was a notorious climber when I was a kid.  Since I had to wear a uniform every day for school, I got into the habit of wearing shorts underneath after one unfortunate playground incident.  I believe the term parachute panties was coined in large part because of me.

Trees were a favorite.  We had a large tree beside our house in the vacant lot.  I spent hours sitting up in that tree, surveying the goings on of the neighborhood about me.  My mother called me Gladys Kravitz.  One day I thought I’d save some time getting home to dinner, so I fashioned the rope from my mother’s clothes line and suspended it from a branch.  Rather high up.  The idea was to shimmy down the rope to safety.  In record speed.  On my first try, I ascended about 6 inches, when the rope broke.  I fell all the way down and landed on my back, with the wind knocked completely out of me.

Four sets of neighbor eyes stood in a semi-circle staring down at me.  Curious about what death really looked like.  When I finally blinked and caught my breath, they disbanded.  Disappointment apparent on their faces.

I ran home in tears.  More upset about the broken clothes line than about my near death experience.

Undaunted, my tree climbing career continued.  Until at some point in early adulthood, I discovered I was deeply afraid of heights.  Which I have since mostly conquered.

When we moved into this house, I was pregnant with Emme.  My first landscaping decision was to place two maple trees in our backyard.  I campaigned hard for these trees, stating that they would some day make excellent shade trees.  But secretly, I was hoping that I’d have a daughter who would climb in my footsteps.  And since clothes lines were banned by our intrepid homeowners association, I had no immediate fear that she would repeat my childhood stunt.

A little over 10 years later, our maple trees (now named Lana and Mike) tower above our house.  Mike leans a little to the right courtesy of a 2004 hurricane.  Lana and Mike provide some shade against the blistering Florida temperatures, but they are far from climbing trees.  I’m still holding out hope.  Maybe for the grandchildren.

The kids still try to include Lana and Mike in their outdoor play.  Yesterday, Emme threw her sister’s hot pink hula hoop far up into the branches.  And there it stayed.  I caught her attempting to climb up Lana’s still thin trunk.  Not one single branch is sturdy enough to hold her.  I stopped her, assuring her that the hurricane season was eminent, and the hula hoop would be making a return appearance to the ground, or through a neighbor’s window.

But then Fiddledaddy got in on the action.  Concerned that the hot pink hula hoop could be seen by all of the houses on either side of us, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

First he threw a bright blue mat at the hula hoop.  It dislodged the hula hoop, and positioned it even higher among the naked branches.  And the blue mat decided to stay and keep hula hoop company.

Then he thought he’d use the yellow floral watering can to retrieve the hula hoop and bright blue mat.

This is the view of Lana from the yard.  And likely the view that every neighbor within a half mile radius has as well.

(If you look closely, the watering can is just above the blue mat. Classy.)

I’m thinking that the homeowners association is going to call a special meeting to amend some of the by-laws concerning brightly colored debris high up in the landscaping.  Clearly 10 years ago or so when the rules & regulations were drawn up, they had no idea who they would be dealing with.

22 Responses to Up a Tree

  • Priceless! And timely, as our very first homeowners’ meeting at our new home is next week….I’m guessing there might be some bylaw tweaking around here soon 😉 Happy week!

  • Loving the tree and the memory of Gladys Kravitz. Tree should be greening out in the next few months, and FiddleDaddy’s offerings to the Charlie Brown tree will be obscured. Until Fall.

  • Thank you! I love starting my days with you! We have done the same thing trying to dislodge frisbies and the like!

  • I like your tree. It has personality. It isn’t boring like the other trees. 🙂

  • Oh DeeDee!
    Thank you for the early morning giggles! Honestly, I am not laughing at you, but with you!!!! LOL! I hope your laughing. LOL!!! Ah, I needed that! 🙂


    From all the way on the other side of this amazing country, Bonsall, CA

  • Thank you for the giggles this morning! I’m laughing with you – only because that is SO something I would do myself! 🙂

  • We actually have a green hula hoop in an oak in our front yard. I forgot all about it until I read your post! Haha

  • Hahahaha. Love your blog and just like this occasion, it has me laughing. Made my morning!

  • I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    Especially that tree.

  • I think you should tell your homeowners association that you are decorating for Spring:)

  • Message for the man of the house:
    Home Depot has telescopic poles for window washing or light bulb changing. Buy one. Put a wad of duct tape on the end. Pluck said items from tree. Return pole to Home Depot. Done…

  • That is too funny. Now I want to go throw stuff up in my tree to annoy my neighbors! Not really… ok maybe a little, lol!

  • I thin if you get him to throw a really. big. frog at the tree, all will come tumbling down post haste.

    And there will be little chance the frog would live-

    so for you?

    A win- win.

    You are welcome.

  • tears. tears. you crack me up!
    The objects that go up next need to be substanially heavy i.e. basketballs, bricks, etc. Kleenex post. Funny.

  • So funny!

    I once got a Sunbeam bread bag kite (handmade, of course) caught in a tree and the dern thing stayed up there for months.
    Good luck with some wind!

  • Totally laughed out loud at the pic! K-lassy indeed! I guess when spring rolls around, the leaves will cover it all up. : )

  • k&c’s mom beat me to it – all I could think was the kite eating tree from Charlie Brown. But Kelli’s comment wins hands down. Cuz that was just funny!

  • Dee Dee, If ya’ll ever want to move to Oklahoma you can be my neighbor. I promise to not care if ya throw things in the trees if you wont care that my dog has decided the Fed Ex truck is his arch enemy….LOL
    I have plenty of trees for ya’ll to get stuff stuck in.

  • Make a grappling hook with a clothesline and a rock.
    Of course, this will mean you need to buy a clothesline. I wonder what you will do with it after you retrieve the tree art…

  • Pls know this story was retold to a very weary driver this morning on our return trip over the mountains today. Said driver and I got into Portland at 1am and left again too few hours later to come home.

    He laughed til he was needing to pull over.

    Thank you.

    (And now he has seen the picture and laughed again.)

  • Funny, McDaddy calls me Gladys Kravitz too. It is a title that I proudly accept as anytime McDaddy needs information, who do you think he comes to? This whole scenerio makes for some great blog fodder regardless of what the HOA think about it.

  • I laughed so hard that my daughter actually looked away from Tom & Jerry for a split second to see if I had lost my mind. (We are both sick at home on the couch – ugh!) I am still laughing. This would actually make my frisbee-covered roof look good, so can you move next door?? 🙂