Posted in Life, memories

No one said I couldn’t, so I climbed

I was sitting on the back patio in late afternoon and I found myself wondering how tall the scrub pine trees were in the two vacant lots on each side of our yard. As they swayed in the breeze, I suddenly recalled the giant maple trees I used to climb when I was a kid.

These two trees were five feet in diameter at the base. They were meant for climbing. The trunk divided into two just a few feet off the ground. Either route was filled with foothold that quickly got me up above the roof of our two- story house. But that was only the halfway point. I was able to keep going until the trunk was less that six inches across. On a windy day I really had to hold on, swaying back and forth, fifty-plus feet up, looking out over the neighborhood through the leaves.

This episode doesn’t include any falls or injuries. Sorry. I didn’t tell my mom what I was up to, other than, “Climbing the tree.” She probably knew. Moms just do. Maybe I was the reason she smoked and drank. My dad never said I couldn’t, so I climbed.

I remember the feeling of accomplishment. I felt strong, fearless, and daring. I would wrap some tape around the branch I reached so I could break my record the next time I climbed.

The trees in my yard aren’t climbable. Fifty-feet tall with no branches to step on or hold onto. Besides, I would never let my kids or grandkids climb like that. I’d be the one yelling, “Get off of there!” But they’re smart. They’d wait until I wasn’t watching.

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