The Gift-Part 5-Reminiscing

The Gift-Part 5-Reminiscing

The scoot home took a long time, and Morty deliberately kept Skye out of hyper-drive. He drove slowly to keep the little tree from tearing off. They talked as he drove.

“The farmer planted me as a seed eight years ago. I became a sapling quickly, and was transplanted into a new field.”

Connie jabbered away as Morty drove.

“Farmer Jim re-planted me again when I reached sapling stage. He put me into the field where his great, great, great, great-grandfather grew up. I went thirsty during the drought, and the hot summer nearly fried my needles. I liked winter best. I loved when the snow covered my boughs and they drooped to the ground.”

“I’ve been a Guardian Angel since the beginning of time,” said Morty. “My duty is to watch over Brad. I love watching kids the best.”

“My favorite job is to take care of birds. The cardinals and chickadees picked me this year. They built their nests deep in my boughs to hide it from predators.  I couldn’t believe how many trips they made with string, and twigs from all over the farm. Red Cardinal and his wife Rosy brought the pieces one by one. Rosy wove them into place, and pasted it all together with mud from the pond.”

“I loved to watch the Cardinals fly back and forth to feed their babies. They slept between meals, but made a lot of noise when they woke up. The kids chirped loudly until a parent came with food. One day, a cat came into my field. Rosy covered the nest with her body, and spread her wings to hide them. Red buzzed the cats’ ears to get his attention away from the babies. I dropped my boughs over the nest to give them more protection. Everything became very still while the cat was there. All the trees around me watched him stalk; his head was low, and his shoulders in a crouch. After what seemed like an eternity of stillness, the cat finally wandered off.”

Morty arrived home after dark. He untied Connie’s branches and set him upright into a bucket of water.

“Tomorrow,” he said, “I will place you into a tree stand, and dress you for the birthday party. Now it is time for all of us to rest.”

To be continued . . .

Happy Birthday Grampa Jim

Today marks the one hundred and thirty-fifth anniversary of the birth of one Imre (James) Wigh. I call him Grandpa. He is the character I have

chronicled in a series of childhood memories under the category of Biography-Grandpa Jim.

       I am suffering through a period of melancholy the past few weeks, and today is no different. The fact that today is his birthday has nothing to do with my dilemma, but it adds to my sadness. The man was the only grandparent I knew. The father of my mother, he came to this country from Hungary to make a better life for himself. He landed a job in a coal mine in Southern Illinois near the town of West Frankfort. While mining coal, he was seriously injured and placed on disability. He received a pension of twenty-six dollars a month for the rest of his life; he managed to survive.

Grandpa Jim lived a solitary life on his farm in Michigan. As I have related before, he spent winters in Chicago by the command of my mother. She felt he needed to live a little easier than he did on the farm. When winter passed, and the weather got a bit warmer, Grandpa Jim disappeared. He found a way back to his humble little farm-house in Covert Township.

Happy Birthday Gramps!  Where ever you are.

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