Tag Archives: boxelder tree

Revisiting Why Boxelders and Blackberries?

One of the first entries I wrote when i started this blog in 2009 related to the title. When I think back to what I wrote then, I think it barely captures what that tree meant to me and doesn’t say enough about those blackberry brambles. My life at home was not always a happy life. The memories are often told in the stories that populate this blog. “1945,” tells about a very young child’s introduction to racism; “Of Trees, Tubs, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Silence” describes the view from the boxelder tree; “Caught in the Wringer,” is about washing clothes with an old wringer washer and trying to escape the violence surrounding Maggie Jean; “Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary,” recounts my little contribution to history; and “Prelude to a Not-So-Ordinary Day” and “Horse Latitudes” tell about an extraordinary (and dangerous) experience I had with my horse. The tragedy of my sister’s life (and death) is told in “Why Didn’t You Catch Me?” There are others here that tell my story. Continue reading

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Of Trees, Tubs, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Silence

The huge box elder split into a Y about four feet above the ground. The two main trunks were each big enough to be its own tree, and the broad fork made a comfortable seat where she could sit and read if she wanted. One side leaned at an angle wide enough for her to climb to smaller branches and then work her way into the upper branches and the protective canopy of leaves when she wanted more privacy. This tree was her place. Rarely had any of her brothers or sisters, when they were home, ever climbed it. It’s my tree. The tall maple tree on the other side of the house was another of her climbing trees, but not for privacy, for the challenge. She was determined someday to climb high enough in it that she would be able to look out above the highest branches. There was danger in that–the upper branches were no thicker than her thumb. Continue reading

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Posted in Dysfunctional Families, Fiction, Meanderings, Meanings, Memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


I was ten that summer. I didn’t really understand why we had to move, nor did I understand why my mother was so angry. I remember going with her to look for places to live. Nothing that we found, even though some were very nice, suited my father and he made the final decision. Continue reading

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Why boxelders and blackberries?

The big, old boxelder that grew in the side yard at my house when I was growing up became my sanctuary when I needed privacy or just someplace to get away from it all. It had a double trunk that split into … Continue reading

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