This week we headed up north to the mitten state! That's right Addie, we packed everything (but the kitchen sink) into the van and we road tripped all the way up to the beautiful land surrounded by Great Lakes to visit friends and family.
Our first stop was Nana and Papa Supernaw's house. You love playing in their backyard and gardens - there's so much to see there! From whimsical fairy gardens, a hammock, a sandbox filled with play toys, the pond (that you were determined to take a dip in), badminton, scooters, and more! But what you seem to love the most, was a huge maple tree in the backyard adorned with a simple disc swing on a rope. The calming sensation of swinging back and forth made your vestibular senses say "yes please!"
You see Addie, this tree has been in my parents yard for as long as I can remember. I have so many special memories of it from over the years. There was on time that papa Charlie tied dollar bills all over each branch to surprise Uncle Matthew on his eighteenth birthday. Side note: to this day, we call it the "money tree" because of that surprise!
Every year it just continued to get bigger and bigger, but it was only recently that I learned the whole story of how it came to be to where it is today.
This tree has grown to mammoth proportions over the years (probably 75 feet tall). Today it provides a fun playground of branches and limbs for daring kids (and squirrels) to climb, shade for sitting by the pond, and a simple rope swing for so much joy and laughter of children such as yourself.
But this just isn't any old tree, there's real family history within these roots.
I remember as a child when my grandfather brought it to our house as a sapling. My grandfather, who you knew as "papa with the one leg" (yes he had one leg, and yes he loved this nickname) hoped it would grow into the mighty tree it is today.
It was a sapling from another sturdy maple from their own yard just a few miles away.
Now as if that isn't cool enough... it turns out that their are even stronger family roots in these maple roots than that!
Many moons ago, your great grandmother (or GG Supernaw as you call her), unexpectedly lost her mother when she was only 4. Her father (your great, great grandfather) decided to move to Canada, and leave her for her grandparents to raise her.
So, GG was actually raised by her grandparents (your great, great, great grandparents), and her aunt Mildred who was 12 years older than her. Aunt Mildred was awesome - I was lucky to know her well when I was a little girl and in my young adulthood!)
Years went by, and GG grew up into a beautiful young lady. Eventually she met a strapping young man with two legs (at the time...) named Charlie. They fell in love, and got married.
One day the young couple had a special visit from GGs grandparents. They had brought the young couple a special gift - a maple sapling from a strong, sturdy maple from their yard.
You see baby, this giant tree that you swing on today has strong roots - both physically, and metaphorically. For it grew from a sapling, that grew from a sapling that dates back well over a hundred years.
Although we may have never known them, I think they'd be proud of their simple gift of a tree, that has had such loving and cherished roots throughout the years with our family. I wonder if they ever visioned their great great great grandchildren enjoying such a beautiful gift all those years ago?!
Maybe this tree will have a sapling that will make its way to NC... we'll see!
Keeping swinging Addie, and enjoy that loving breeze.
I'm sure there are many smiles from heaven looking on.