Thursday, August 5, 2010

Part 2--Trip Down Memory Lane

Its been said and I agree that we are as human beings the sum total of our experiences and memories. Our memories make us almost more than our genes as they give our lives meaning. We become what we have seen, done, tasted, etc...if that makes any sense. But this is how I feel about my memories and "going to Grandpa's." I knew that this place in the country that I'd loved growing up would be changed. The road you turn onto to get to the house is now paved, and the old farmhouse that my Grandfather lived in for many, many years is gone and there are a few homes that have been built. The barnyard has changed. There used to be an old barn and a corn-crib; they've been torn down and replaced. The pine trees that surrounded the barnyard are gone too. However, this view which is the one we used to see from the front porch seemed to me very much the same. My Grandfather loved trees! Around the old farmhouse there were pecan, walnut and oak trees that were over 100 years old. There was one tree that was Grandpa's pride and joy, and that was a Mimosa tree. We were allowed to climb any tree that we wanted, however, climbing the Mimosa tree was forbidden! The words from 40+ years ago of him telling us many (many!) times "that you can't climb on my Mimosa" are as vivid in my mind if they'd been said yesterday. Its smooth soft branches and delicate pink blooms were really lovely and may not have withstood the weight of kids climbing on it.
On Monday when I pulled up to where the house used to stand, the first thing I saw was a Mimosa tree. I couldn't help but be taken by that because there were hummingbirds around and one sat on a branch nearby. As I looked around there were several other Mimosa trees growing too. I wondered how Grandpa would feel knowing that there was a new generation of Mimosa trees growing from the single tree from so many years ago. As I looked at the rest of the property I could pick out the direction we used to take to get to the creek and the woods. A little ways down the road at this corner I knew that the road led to the creek where we used to wade so I decided to drive down it.
I had the dogs with me and once at the creek I let them out to wade.
While I couldn't find them, I am relatively sure that this tree is the one where my siblings and I once carved our initials. The one lane road leading to the creek left no room for me to turn around so I decided I that I would drive up the road to find a place. I found a driveway and turned into it. Sitting in the yard in lawn chairs under a tree were two men probably in their 70's drinking their morning coffee. Both were clean-shaven and one wore faded overalls with a red hat. The other had on dark faded blue work pants with an old light blue shirt with his name on it and a green hat. Sitting in between them tied up was a hound dog. Of course they eyed me suspiciously--I suppose a gray haired lady in a van with Virginia license plates and a Golden Retriever in the front seat doesn't pull into their driveway everyday. The man in the work clothes stood up and walked towards me. I got a glimpse of the name "Sammy" on his shirt and realized he was someone that used to work for my Grandfather and someone that I had worked with when I packed for a moving company in college. What are the chances of that??!! The other man could be no one else but his brother Leroy. I told them who I was and of course they remembered me and my family. Sammy and Leroy are confirmed bachelors partly because I think were just too shy to talk to women--This really hadn't changed as Leroy hardly made eye contact with me when he talked and sat there trimming his fingernails with his pocket knife and petting the dog. It was a nice visit and I left saying a prayer of thanks that none of this ended like something out of the movie "Deliverance!" I just wish I'd thought to get a picture of them--You'll just have to use your imagination.

On my way back from the creek I again stopped where the house had been and remembered one more time...I decided that I really wanted a Mimosa Tree, but I couldn't find one small enough to dig up, so I settled for seedpods instead.
My last stop would be the small cemetery where my Grand Parents and other family members are buried. When I got there I wasn't really sure where to start looking but as I stood there trying to decide I noticed a big Mimosa tree that was near where I was standing. One of its branches was hanging over a headstone and underneath the shade of this beautiful tree was the headstone of my Grandparents. I was so touched to see this because it could not be a more perfect final resting place. As I drove back home it occurred to me that we all need our memories and our roots. Without them we are incomplete. And from my trip to Short Creek I realized that my memories and my roots and who I am is partly found in and under a Mimosa tree.


  1. Absolutely wonderfully written. What a lovely trip down memory lane, thanks for taking me with

  2. Thank you for taking me on your journey of memories. You expressed yourself beautifully. I wish I could go back and visit places from my childhood. Wonderful photos.

  3. Hi Kim!

    Looks like you had a nice trip down memory lane!

    Hope you have a Happy weekend!
    xo Catherine

  4. Kim, this was an absolutely wonderful entry. You made me feel that I was walking right along with you. I certainly do hope that those seeds that you took yield you a mimosa tree that will keep your memories close to you.

  5. Just wonderful Kim! I really enjoyed your story and family memories.
    I also know what you mean about the scene from Deliverance...I used to drive around all on my own and enjoyed it so much until I had a few moments when I realized I had gotten into a position that maybe wasn't the safest for a woman alone!
    But I'm glad you took the chance and got to meet the 2 older men from your past, what a great moment!
    Tina xo

  6. A beautiful post, Kim. The house may be gone, but thank heavens for the memories. I wish you could have found your initials! How surprising to meet someone from your past! Beautiful pictures, I feel like I went with you, after reading your post. I hope you get a mimosa, are they native to your area?

    What a lovely and fitting resting place for your Grandparents! So peaceful. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. What an awesome story. I too have good memories from childhood of my grandparents. Thanks for sharing yours.

  8. Kim, I just got caught up on the last two posts...Beautiful memories. I hope the Mimosa seed pods work, if not I can send you more!

  9. Have so enjoyed sharing in your memories,beautifully written!
    I will shortly take a trip down memory lane myself when we visit Cornwall next month,a place where I had so many wonderful holidays as a child.

    Bellaboo :o)

  10. What a beautiful post! I enjoyed reading it so much! Mimosa's have always been my favorite tree, too. I climbed many a mimosa as I was growing up, their branches are stronger than one might think, and the low branches and crooks are perfect for small feet. Wish I had one in my yard now!


  11. Wonderful memories, thanks for sharing.

    Sheila & Bob

  12. Wow, what a wonderful post Kim. I really enjoyed reading this and how awesome you ran into someone who use to work for your grandfather. Looks like beautiful country there.

    I came here from Skoog's.

  13. I agree with tracey
    what a lovely and well written post

  14. Thank you for sharing your trip. I really enjoyed reading this, and your last post and reading how your memories relate to what is there now.

  15. A beautiful look back to your roots, and how much it still influences you daily.
    What a wonderful old homestead, the land still so very rural and untouched...
    I would think your grandparents had a hard yet fullfilled life, one surrounded by love of family and friends alike.
    Hold onto your sweet memories as you have, they are what makes you, YOU.
    Such a lovely post Kim !

  16. Kim
    We read every single word of this beautiful story. These words are a keep sake, and we treasure that you shared this experience with us.
    The photos were awsome,,, but each step of the way,,we were with you.
    To the creek and the Mimosa tree standing about your Grandparents grave.
    I also hope the seed pods that found will grow.
    What beautiful memories you shared with us,

  17. Being a shivering Canadian, I had no idea such a thing as a mimosa tree even existed - to me a "mimosa" is a brunch cocktail made with champagne! What a gorgeous tree, and how lovely that you have such special memories tied to so beautiful a tree.

  18. Love this post, Kim. I have quite a few mimosa trees on my property and have had them in every yard I have owned since I moved to VA in 1988. I find them beautiful, but I have no family memories tied to them....I love your pictures and your trip down the lane, with memories in hand. How rewarding to find that some things defy change, even as the world would demand otherwise! Thanks for the trip. It was worth the two visits here to read the whole post!

  19. You told this beautifully Kim. How wonderful to have the connection with the lovely Mimosa tree ( Do not climb ! )

    Sammy & Leroy remind me of the two brothers in Secondhand Lions - have you ever seen it ?

  20. what a super post. Will the Mimosa tree go up north then? Or are your winters too cold?

    Gill in Canada

  21. Kim - what a wonderful trip you've had. Thank you for sharing with us and taking us for a stroll down your memory lane.

    I'm sure you'll hold this trip in your heart for a long time! But, isn't always great to get back to all the wagging tails and dog fur?

  22. Kim,
    What a beautiful written blog.
    I was tearing up just reading your memories. I felt as if I was also there with you
    I had never herd of a Mimosa Tree and will look it up.
    So funny to run into the two brothers on you trip through the property, wish you had of gotten their picture also.
    The dogs look like they had a great time in the creek and it is amazing that you found that tree with your initials carved into.
    Thanks again for sharing your memories I really enjoy this.

  23. What a touching heart-warming post. Thank you Kim for sharing your wonderful memories with us.

    Nadine, Apples & Neeli

  24. oh, what a great npart 2 of the story...and a great end to your trip.
    The cool. There is a waterfall in the north GA mountains where we honeymooned many many years ago. My husband carved our initials at the bottom, and I touch them every time we go back. We try to go back each summer.


Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!