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Magnolia-opus 4

Updated on December 16, 2012
Author shared photo with you
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A Momentous Moment

OK - This was it. -This is his big moment for him to contribute something really special to the new house which might just establish him as a person of importance living there!

He thinks he kind of knows what it needs to be. A tree for him to plant would do it!! A really impressive tree!

He's looked at those magazines his mother gets in the mail, all about houses and gardens and things and noticed pictures of different kinds of trees in the yards. He remembers seeing a picture of a peach tree with flowers all over it, thinking that peaches are good to eat. But that doesn't seem quite impressive enough.

There aren’t many trees on the new street where the house is. More houses are going up and little scrawny trees are dozed down to lay the foundations. The yards are all just dirt - like thiers was before Dad put in some grass.

There are trees lining a creek nearby but they are all tangly and ugly looking. He certainly wouldn’t want one of those. They had a pecan tree where they lived before they moved. It was a nice big tree with pretty leaves but there were all those nuts in the yard and he and Junior had to pick them up and then help shell them. He would almost dream of pecans after a day of that! He didn’t think he wanted a pecan tree no matter how big and nice looking it was but he was sure wishing he knew more about trees, ‘cause right now, it really, really mattered!

Suddenly he remembered seeing a picture of a great looking tree! It was one of those magnolia trees, all full of enormous white blossoms and big shiny leaves. Now THAT was a good tree, he said out loud. A few people looked at him, wondering who the little kid was talking to! Didn't matter. Now he knew what to look for! So he started looking for the magnolia trees up and down the aisles. But doesn’t see one. That's not good. Maybe they're too big and too good to just put them in with any old plants! Yeah – maybe that’s it.   Must be.  He's sure that HIS tree needs a MUCH better place!  Still looking, though - he wonders - where?

Now he sees an opening out onto a screened area, with even a screened roof!

He notices there are larger pots with larger plants in them. He runs out there, almost tripping over a fallen bag of fertilizer stuff, but he’s undaunted! Out he goes and runs down a row and starts back up the next row. . . and now he sees what has to be one! It looks like the picture in the magazine! Big glossy leaves! Even a couple of flowers about to bloom. It’s taller than he is. Well – it’s even taller than Junior! And it’s in a great big pot. It may only have a couple of smallish blossoms but he knows that it will do, just FINE! Yessir! He could hardly wait to get Dad and show him!

He ran back to where his Dad had been gathering together plants and accessories he’d need to landscape the walkway and front area and had piled them into a cart and was setting them onto the counter when Sonny ran up to him. Tim sees that he’s so excited he can barely talk but, holding on to Dad’s hand, he just pours it all out almost unintelligibly that he's found the very tree he wants to buy to plant in the front yard! Sonny knew he'd never felt so much excitement and sense of – well, power, that's what it felt like, now that he'd get to plant that wonderful tree – himself!

Still grabbing Dad’s hand and pulling, Sonny tries to lead him to that outside area so they could get it. He can't wait!

"Whoa, there, Sonny - give a guy time to put down these plants!" And Tim winked at the nursery checker who'd been pointing out the different plants' advantages as to light exposure requirements and color coordination. "Big plans going on here", he said to her as he handed her the plant he'd been examining and told her he'd be right back. She smiled and set his plants toward the side of her counter till they would return to claim them.

Babbling about his tree, Sonny even more urgently pulled Tim along through the aisles back to the open door out onto the outdoor covered patio where the larger plants were located. He went straight to the second row where he pointed with pride at "his" special tree!

Dad was impressed, obviously. He tipped his head and winked in approval of Sonny’s taste in trees. But then, his brow knitted a bit and, eye-balling its size and lifting the tag to see the price, he said it was for sure a magnificent tree, but added with a sympathetic look that he had to say it might be a bit too much.

Sonny's happy little face fell like an apple off a tree in December. Tears welled up in his clear blue eyes as he lowered them toward the rough nursery floor and scuffed his shoe’s toe on it. He was choking back tears but a couple just rolled down his nose and dropped onto the floor with a little splash anyway. He felt devastated, deflated like a balloon after the party. He’d had disappointments before, but not after being so full of hope and optimism – or the feeling of success. Now it seems to have vanished in the moment as if it had never existed.

Tim was visibly touched. The last thing he wanted was to disappoint the boy, especially after he’d built up such excitement and hope. He rubbed his chin, looked around – noticing there were many other choices and thinking surely they could find another tree that would fill the bill.

So he bent down and tilted Mike’s sad little face up gently and said "Don't cry, son. We can find a little smaller one for you to plant!" He reached out and brushed a tear off Sonny’s cheek and smiled into his face, looking for traces of the hope and joy to return to it.

Sonny perked up somewhat. Maybe all was not lost. But he'd been so taken with THAT magnolia. He’d felt like it had chosen him too! He hadn’t for a moment even considered another one. He straightened up a bit and puffed a little sigh. He said, “Ok, Daddy.”

He didn’t have a lot of choice, did he? If Dad said “no”, - well, it meant he couldn’t have it. But at least it wasn’t a complete “no” to his getting to have a magnolia tree. He'd have to settle for some other one. He tried to look happy, but there were still some tears rising to the surface as he followed along beside his Dad, not skippilng happily as before, but together they set off in search of a sapling magnolia tree for him to choose, acquire and plant.

So he began to remind himself, - at least it wasn't a complete disappointment. He trailed along several more rows with Dad, looking lackadaisically at little old trees which were obviously inferior to his tree. Not one of them grabbed him. He just shrugged at the sight of each one. But then, as though it were planned just for him, they found the right area where smaller, but elegant magnolia trees were located and his spirits started to rise again. They looked pretty good. They really did.

He started to skip along beside his Dad as they looked over those rows for another "just right" choice. He was feeling like Dad understood how much he needed it to be right. He began to feel that elation again.

There! A really good-looking sapling! It had put out a few leaves and you could tell they were healthy, shiny and rich green. Its pot wasn’t as big but it wasn’t just some little bitty nothing pot, either. It had - well, it had some of what his other tree had, just not as old or as big yet.

His eyes began to light up again as he hopefully pointed it out to his Dad while he looked searchingly into his expression for signs of approval.

“That one, Daddy? Could I have that one? I really do like it!” And Dad was smiling, too! – He seemed to like the choice. Then Dad even said it looked healthy and "just right". Sonny had already concluded that! But to have his Dad’s agreement, that was really special.

Dad assured him it was just the right one and congratulated him on being a good chooser. Sonny’s smile was ear to ear and his eyes sparkled like diamonds. He was giddy with pride and delight. As they looked for a cart he was almost jumping up and down. He'd forgotten about wanting that bigger one now.

Dad spotted a cart on the next aisle and pulled it over next to the row and let Sonny load his tree onto it. "See, Sonny. This one is just your size! You can even carry it. And it will fit in the car."

"Yeah. . . ! It will!" Sonny's eyes are dancing, just thinking about it.

Tim laughed to himself.  He hadn’t really considered whether or not the other one would fit into the trunk, even with it half open! He'd just been thinking about its being more than Sonny could handle to plant and that would probably make Sonny feel bad about himself.  It was a bit pricey, but if he’d felt right about getting it for the boy, that wouldn’t have been a big issue. He was happy that he’d followed his better judgment and that it was turning out well. There was no question that it was!

With eyes sparkling, Sonny was almost hugging the pot as he lifted it enough to get it started scooting onto the cart. It was pretty heavy – had been watered recently – but he was able to manage it, little as he was. Determination made up for any brawn he had yet to develop!

He touched the leaf closest to him almost reverently as together they slid it onto the cart all the way. Tim smiled. He'd felt that kind of attachment with plants himself from the time he was a boy. Looked like his youngest son was going to have a similar affiliation. Very good!

"As your tree grows, so will you, son. You'll grow together!"

"Yeah. . . we will." Sonny was so elated he didn't know what else to say.

He proudly pushed the cart with HIS tree jiggling as it rolled over the uneven nursery floor and they wended their way back to the counter where the clerk was waiting with Tim's other plants.  He'd already gathered a cart full of flowering plants, small bushes and hedge plants, bags of planting soil and plant food and a few new shiny hand tools. He had enough bricks to line a small winding flower garden along the sidewalk. He'd found a tasteful gardem statue of a frog to tuck in next to the porch and a statue of a small boy gardener for the little flower garden area. And even though Sonny hadn't been too interested in tools, he thought he should have  his own hand sprinkler for watering his tree, so he found just the right light-weight one for him. Sonny was happy about the sprinkler but he was so tickled about his tree, he didn't fully realize he'd need anything else!

Tim also noticed a birdbath he intended to get for the back yard and planned to build a bird house out there too. Next trip, he'd be working on that. It was a pleasant thought. Maybe things would improve and the family would have a good time here in this house. He could remember how it had been at home with his own parents and those summers with his Great Uncle Timothy and Aunt Bev were some of the best times of his life. That was what he most wanted for his home!

Junior joined them with the things he'd found to get and he looked happy about their excursion. "Dad, this is really fun! I saw so many great garden tools and lots of things to plant, too!  What do you think?" He spread out the things he'd thought looked useful and looked up questioningly at Dad. Tim smiled as he inspected his son's choices. "You found some great things, Junior. Good choices, son. Let's see, we need to be sure there are no duplicates."  He shook Junior's hand, man to man and motioned him to help decide about the items. They examined each thing and sorted them into "keepers" and another group. Some wouldn't be needed for awhile, others were more showy than they were useful or necessary.   Junior listened to the reasons and was satisfied that the items he was to get were all appropriate and would be useful.  He was starting to really get interested in the yard and garden project!   "I'll show and tell these things in class", he volunteered hoprfully.  "Hey, son - that's a good idea."  They got his items on the counter with the other things to be rung up and then they were loading it all into a cart.  This was going to be a full carload, Tim was thinking!

What Tim had been thinking about as he watched his sons gathering their selections with so much enthusiasm, was how good he felt about their venture already! It felt natural.

He couldn't keep from thinking of all the things about those easy balmy days on the farm when he was their age and on through his teens, back before the war. He'd been just learning about doing a job and experiencing the satisfaction it brought just as they were going to be doing.

But then, things had been so, - well, - so different. Now it seemed like things were in too much rush. He'd had enough of that overseas and yet nothing had slowed down very much. The dreams he'd had of coming back to a world he'd left were over like the war. Having a new career and family and now a new house and yard, was a challenge and he guessed it was a good one, but it just wasn't the same, somehow. There was something more restless about it. He guessed it just felt more insecure.

Marion wasn't much like his mother or Aunt Bev, either. In fact, Pop had mentioned to him after a visit, that he needed to, as he expressed it, "get control of your woman". Tim never noticed his Dad or uncle needing to "get control" of their wives and frankly, he didn't have any idea how he could do that even if he agreed. Marion was very headstrong and she had her mother nearby as an example! He counted on the house and having it suit her making her happy. Things had been strained and she didn't have all she'd been used to. But he hoped she would before long. He was advancing well in his work.

But, he realized, he didn't really much want to spoil this pleasant moment thinking about that. He was enjoying the boys and remembering the good times on the farm, where it was always plenty busy but never rushed. At the end of the day they'd sit on the porch where it was cool, talking and enjoying the sunset and the fragrance of the fields before they turned in early. They were always plenty ready for their sleep after a good day's work.

They'd be up early each morning. Tim didn't yet have a driver's license for the roads, but he'd get out on the tractor and plough before it got too hot. He loved those lanquid, dusty trips, - down one row, turn the tractor and go up the next. Uncle Timothy would be working on some other part of the field or at the barn. When Aunt Bev called them in for lunch, they'd switch off the machines and head for the water pump. Splashing that cool water on their dusty faces felt so good. Tim smiles now, recalling how much midwest dust he rinsed off his face every time! Aunt Bev had commented on more than one occasion that if he'd stockpiled all that dirt to take home in the fall, he could have planted his own wheat field!

When they went in the house, Uncle Timothy's favorite bowl would be set on the table. He would add his favorite soup to the cubed pieces of wheat toast already in the bowl. They would soak up the steaming liquid, which Aunt Bev brought in a small pitcher that matched the bowl in which she'd placed the toast. When Uncle Timothy poured his brothy soup on the toast, his face looked like the picture of satisfaction. As a youngster, Tim loved watching that ritual. He would relate it to his sons many times over the years.

He also remembered how his uncle had always expected him to rise to responsibility and accept it manfully. His uncle was always cheerful and light-hearted but it didn't keep him from tending to his nephew's character training with a firm will!

Tim "borrowed" a quarter from his uncle when they were in town getting supplies and he'd spotted something he wanted for himself. He had some money he earned from the work he did, but was short a quarter of being able to buy it. He got the quarter. But a time of reckoning came when Uncle Timothy expected him to make good on his obligation to repay it. It was an indelible lesson for Tim. It wasn't a matter of amount owed. It was a matter of principle.

Years later he would shake his head when one of his sons borrowed a saw and when asked when his Dad could expect it back, said with surprise, "Oh, did you want it back?" It was a mindset totally incomprehensible to Tim. Little did he realize that it was a microcosm of a characteristic which has been called "entitlement", common to the Boomer generation, and that his astonished reaction to it was a microcosm of his generation's.  Neither generation really understood the other's and seemingly it was a gap that was virually non-bridgeable, whose effects would continue for many more generations and into the next millinium!

But Tim had personally never forgotten not only what he learned by the experience of the quarter owed, but that his uncle respected him enough to hold him accountable. And it would never have occurred to him to question it. He knew it was important for him to learn and he reminded himself to take more time to relay lessons like that to his sons. If only the days didn't whiz by so fast with so much to fill them! He didn't always have the luxury that the farm life provided. But he knew it was too important to overlook. He'd just have to try harder.

His aunt and uncle had no children of their own so no grand kids either. Tim was the grandson they would have loved to have. He'd been "all boy" but they also knew that he was a "good boy" as well, respectful and self-motivated. They admired the way he'd prided himself in doing his work on the farm well and he contributed his share to help Aunt Bev after working outside. He knew he did know how to get things done!  And now, - there was much to be done!

He reflected on how Uncle Timothy taught him so many important things that helped make him the man he'd become, since he'd spent time with his favorite aunt and uncle every summer since boyhood.

Uncle Timothy was a district judge and Tim had gotten to go to the courthouse with him when he sat on the bench. Tim usually hung out in the chambers looking at the books and mementos,  - unless he happened to hear laughter in the courtroom!  He knew that his uncle had said something witty and had the whole courtroom laughing so he would run to the door his uncle used to enter the dias and Tim would open it a crack so he could peek in and see what all the laughing was about!   His own granddad - uncle Timothy's brother - was also a judge but he was always stern and reserved. Tim respected him but he didn't tag after him like he did Uncle Timothy. Tim had always aspired to be more like his uncle when he was a man. He visualized having a family full of love and laughter.  

Watching both his sons basking in the joy of living things, he felt hope glimmering that his hard work and hopes could blossom too. Perhaps they could bring some of those "good ole days" into this more frantic time and place!

As he contemplated planting the new things and seeing his youngest son so thrilled about his little magnolia tree and the older one inspired to learn to garden, - - he could almost forget the tension that seemed to creep into the days to haunt his own house now. Maybe it's temporary, he thought. Maybe when Marion has things the way she wants them, it will ease up. He knew he'd never give up the vision of a happy family and vowed to work harder and to spend more days like this one with those two little guys, one so stocky and one so slim and both so full of joy right then!

He wanted to be able to keep them smiling more!  He'd try to make it to Junior's softball games and take them both fishing some times.

They took all the plants, accessories and tools to the cashier. Tim paid for their "loot", as he called it, and the three of them loaded most of them into the back of the car with some in the back seat, beside Junior. He didn't mind sharing the seat with these wondrous things! Junior sat up front holding a flat of cover plants as they drove back to their pretty new house.

Sonny ran into the house with his bright eyes shining to tell his mother what they'd gotten and hoping to share the excitement. "Mommy! Where are you?" he said.

"You didn't take off your shoes!" she shouted from the back of the house without seeing him. He ran back to the door and took them off and then ran back looking for her to tell her about his tree! He found her in the breakfast room sipping coffee and reading the paper, but she put it down and listened attentively. He felt good about that.

Junior kicked off his shoes at the door and carried his new garden tool choices in and went straight on toward the garage where he knew they'd be stored.

Marion, who had gone to the kitchen as he passed through going to the garage, noticed him carrying them and asked what they were and what they were for. He explained them like an expert and she smiled as he proceeded on to the garage. She was no gardener but liked that her son seemed to be knowledgeable.

Then the boys went back out to help Tim unload all the plants and other items into the garage after he opened its door from inside. They'd never had a large garage like this before so it was a treat.

Tim planned to set up his workshop on one side. That would leave room for the car on the other side. He'd learned to build things from the practical to the artistic from Uncle Timothy and his own dad, who was a skilled woodworker too. These were interests he also hoped his sons would like - if ever he had enough time from work and chores to teach them!

Sonny's Dream Tree

Sonny was so wrapped up in his tree right then, he couldn’t have been more ecstatic! In fact, right then, he didn’t care about his shoes and didn't even think where Junior was doing his own thing! His head was so full of thoughts of his tree and himself growing up together. He could envision it enormous and with blossoms and big leaves like the one in the magazine. He wouldn't mind at all if he dreamed about it tonight! Little did he know, small as he was then, that not only would the magnolia reach its magnificent height, but he, too, would grow to be a tall and good-looking man! That night, though, his dreams were happy enough just imaginging how things would turn out!

This time, one thing Sonny knew was that he WAS a WINNER! That was all he needed to know then. He also couldn't know that this day's triumph and accomplishment would carry him through many a personal struggle for most of his life, wrestling with his demons of self-doubt and sometimes, the depths of depression and desperation which followed and occasionally caught up with him.  This day, even when he didn't consciously recall it, had planted a seed in his little boy's being that would always lend its power to those moments when it was needed - and someday - it would lift him as high as its tallest branches!

He could always think back to this day again and again over the years, remembering the little tree that had waited just for him and become HIS as nothing else had been his up till then and how it had grown with him!

He just wanted to hold on to this moment and its glow . He thought about it all through dinner and the rest of the evening and couldn't stop smiling! 

It was the end of a perfect day!

See Previous: Magnolia – opus 3 (To be continued. . . )


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    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you once more! I deeply appreciate your blessing it!

      I still intend to continue the Magnolia story.

    • Juliette Morgan profile image

      Juliette Morgan 

      8 years ago

      I feel like the stray dog that Lalesu mentions so I cock my leg in appreciation on your tree so that it may be blessed, grow and prosper and be frequented by other strays! Wonderful writing and analogy - your grandchildren are lucky.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      :-) Thank YOU, Michael!! That does my heart such good. I've been amazed at how it has touched people exactly as you describe! Thank you!

    • profile image

      michael from georgetown 

      8 years ago

      fallen behind also. "Magnolia" has become in itself a giving tree. i believe it has and will continue, as it grows, to touch each person who experiences it in a special and magical way of personal relevence. It truly is a gift to cherish.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Of course, Suny! - I have read some of your hubs and love them. I intend to read more. I have visitors from Indiana at present: - my eldest granddaughter and her two strapping teenagers! So I'm a bit behind on my hubbing! But I will catch up.

      I'm glad you like this hub. It's part of a continuing story which began with Magnolia, the prologue, which was mostly about WWII from the perspective of a very young Nellieanna then and a much older Nellieanna now, who noticed some things about the era which set up the aftermath, especially in my country, but which had effects in all parts of the world involved in that world war. It's a semi-ficticious story about one family during that period. The youngest son planted the tree which he selects in this 'opus'.

      The magnolia tree becomes sort of his alter-ego in a way. So it's primarily about "human nature", though nature in all aspects plays a significant part.

      Hope you get a chance to read it all. This is the most current opus. The previous ones are published, too.

    • suny51 profile image


      8 years ago

      Now thats one of the most fascinating article for some one who loves nature.Thats real great message.You may find them a plenty on my pages,May I invite you to come and bless me with your kind words.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Thanks, Joy! And of course I would be gratified if it would help your patient in some way. Not knowing what has caused him/her to be going to the hospital, I can't pinpoint in my mind what it was you felt would help, but perhaps we all key into the experience of accomplishing a goal, finding our own ability to cope and to feel OK about ourselves, which is what happened to Sonny here.

      Yes - interesting about that tree picture! It seemed to illustrate well both the allure of trees for Sonny & his lack of much knowledge yet about them. :)

    • Joy56 profile image


      8 years ago

      i am going to print this out if you don't mind and read it when i take one of my patients to the hospital, it is uplifting,...... yes we chose the same picture, for very different reasons..... lovely work, and beautiful pictures.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      The Giving Tree is so symbolic of some of the things I'm trying to say too, Billy. Thank you so much for sharing it!! And that it was HIS tree mattered so much!! I love that insight!!

      Yes - for an age so steeped in digital "realities" - fantastic as they are in ways - the actual living "soul" of a part of nature, be it an animal or a plant, is so vital to having a realistic and a spiritual - link with life.

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      Nellieanna another great installment and yes I also look forward to opus 24. Reading through your comments makes the sharing even more poignant. The reasoning you do it to help with our young - how true is that and how necessary is that in this digital media manipulated age. Growing your own tree, nurturing it and seeing it bear fruit is a great lesson for a boys, and over the years it has a different meaning. It reminds me of Shel Silverstein's 'The giving tree' one of my wife's favorites and she reads it two our young sons who also have come to enjoy it - as have I.

      The Giving Tree is about a tree who loves a little boy. It goes through their growing patterns - at the start love the two share is enough to make them both happy. The boy changes as he ages and the tree gives him everything to help him achieve happiness. The boy leaves and the tree is left with nothing, is this unrequited love? Eventually the boy returns but the tree has nothing left to give - it has given up leaves, limbs and down to a stump. The boy has changed and just wants the companionship they once had. He sits on the stump and they are both happy again. Lots of nice metaphors there.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you again - from the bottom of my heart, Maita. You're such a caring and intelligent writer yourself, it makes me happy that you see that in me and my writing!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      Powerful, make us appreciate living things, planting and the relationship that is nurtured, parents to their sons and children, I like the phrase, as the tree grows so you are son,

      You are an intelligent and caring writer, knows the emotions and have a good grasp of life, Thank you, Maita

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Oh, lalesu - Thank you for that lovely compliment!

      And what a WONDERFUL quote! Thanks for sharing it with me, as well as others who will pause here and read it.

      It's also a valuable reminder for parents, teachers - all who interact with children especially - to be careful about what mementous moments we may be creating & instilling in impressionable young children, who take it all in uncondtionally, uncritically, literally and whose lives & all who are part of their lives may be thereafter shaped or affected by it.

      It's difficult. as an adult, to resume the role of self-parent to undo damage done by elders when a child, even if done inadvertently without malice of forethought.

      Part of why I'm writing this story is because it is about a time in our history when people were truly unaware of how impressionable children were to even slightly damaging (or encouraging) remarks or demonstration of either confidence in them or not. People really thought children were hard to train in positive ways, so perhaps they underestimated their effect on them in negative ways. I'm fairly sure they were unaware that kids really do respond to almost everything, but don't yet have the ability to sort out subtle meanings or to interpret anything except by their limited experience. They are direct in their interpretations & may never forget those interpretations, however mistaken they may have been, especially if the adult doesn't sense it at the time & try to make it clear in language the kid can relate to better.

      I became aware of it when my 12 year old son revealed that he thought meatloaf was a cut of beef! Who knew to even question what conclusion he had reached about it? LOL. He figured it was just a tender, flavorful piece of meat on his plate! Of course I tried to explain it to him, but he's 55 now & for all I know he may still secretly think it's a prime cut of beef. If so, his wife has it made! lol - Imagine - "Honey guess what I made for our anniversary! - Meatloaf" hahaha

      I do know he still holds some other more important misconceptions, though - some which have dramatically affected his life, my life and the lives of his own family. By the way, he is a professional Civil Engineer with an IQ of 151, so it's not a matter of practicality or intelligence when a child absorbs & internalizes incorrect information or misinterprets input about who he or she IS or about other important relationships in his/her life.

      I know in other instances, as well, it's a fact that it can literally ruin someone's life, even someone with great potential and value. So if this story helps anyone on either side of the equation - child or grownup - to better understand the dynamics of it, then my hope will not be in vain. I believe that knowledge is power and everyone can gain the power to overcome any obstacle of any origin. Without understanding, though - especially with MISunderstandings deeply embedded, lives can be lived without hope of relief and that is too great a loss for me to easily accept!!

    • lalesu profile image


      8 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Nellieanna, your writing is full of calming beauty and grace. I'm so glad you're here on HubPages sharing with us all. A friend recently sent this quote to me, and I will pass it along to you. It reminds me of how wonderful it is to find, or be found, by a friend.

      “Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.” - Susan B Anthony

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Margit! Thanks for your insightful comments. There is for certain much symbolism in quite commonplace simple things, as well as elaborate ones. One has to wonder why we aren't all going about drawing lessons from everything that touches our senses. I suppose in this age of rapid developments and instant access to almost any facet of anything going on now, past or future, though - it could have us bonkers in short order. But perhaps just a limited pinpoint view of what's out one's back door might be so rich a mine of ideas and symbols, it would keep one busy for as long as one could spend on it! Just the play of light and shadows playing on the window or ceiling can inspire a magnificent photograph or painting! When one lets one's mind see without any agenda, much seems to appear.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      SilverGenes - Thank you!! But be careful what you wish for! If I'm still functional, I may be sitting here typing Opus 24 before I'm through. It is a story with lengthy possibilities. And it's gratifying to me to discover that it touches many different sleeping nostalgic buttons or new discoveries about some times gone by. It's such fun to maintain my own perspective at the same time as I'm gettinng into theirs. It's rather wonderful!

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      DG - I do love that story! What a clever parent you are! How wonderful if all parents - or people in general, perhaps - would graciously grant what others ask in such a way as to give time to reconsider the wisdom of their requests! So often we balk and oppose when all we'd really need do would be to grant and wait! LOL.

      I love that sports car story!!! That would be a wonderful Shakespeare 007 hub, in fact!! Think about it!

    • M Selvey, MSc profile image

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom


      Love the analogy about the boy and the tree! This is so much about the literal and the symbolic of everything starting new, growing, nurturing, creating something and the pride in the investment - whether fostering a strong and imposing beautiful tree, a man's character or a way of life.

      Marvelous story - as always, such richness in detail, taking the reader inside the mind and perspectives of each, showing dynamics of the relationship!

      Beautifully executed!

      Rated up!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Magnolia - Opus 4. Reading this makes me hope that one day I will be reading Opus 24 or more. The pace is one that leads me to a second cup of coffee and appreciation for the scents of morning through the open doorway. I've never considered my parents' generation in quite this way. Thank you. I'm selfishly loving every moment.

      "...those easy balmy days on the farm when he was their was always plenty busy but never rushed. At the end of the day they'd sit on the porch where it was cool, talking and enjoying the sunset and the fragrance of the fields before they turned in early." This says it all. Wonderful!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      The tree buying outing reminded me of my youngest when he was 10. He saw a sports car he liked and he wanted me to buy it for him. I took to the car showroom and he saw it close up and he really loved it. So I called the salesman over and told him that we would buy the car right there and then and would he store it for us until my boy was 18? The salesman picked up on the idea immediately and said no problem Sir, we will keep it for when your son is 18. We left the showroom and the boy was ecstatic. Next day he told me that he changed his mind and I should cancel the order. :-)

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you Feline Prophet!! Yes - I'm sure it will take its time. It has a lot on its shoulders - er - branches! ;)

      It pleases me that you find the story's pace enjoyable. That's very valuable feedack!

      Of course, first drafts are quite more "to the point" (or points) the segment wants to make, but I find in writing and fleshing it out, I'm almost really "there" in it myself, experiencing it, which really is a different perspective for me, - between a father and sons. But, I confess, I feel I "know" these people so well, know their hearts and longings, as well as the factors which they themselves don't quite recognize, but which separate them in many vital ways.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      8 years ago

      I had the same thought as Tim while I was reading...his little boy and the tree would grow up together! I'm really enjoying the leisurely pace at which the story is unfolding. Let the tree take its time to grow! :)


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