Monday, October 22, 2007

Mr. Sycamore

Have I ever told you about Mr. Sycamore? Mr. Sycamore was the maple tree that graced my front yard for about 17 years. He was a beautiful tree; always the first to bud and the last to change color and drop leaves.

I was probably 6 when my Dad transplanted this scraggly little maple twig from my neighbors yard into our front yard - it was barely taller than me and pitiful looking! We had just finished watching a movie about a man (Jason Robards) who wanted to find peace and quiet, and thought that his life would be better if he were to become a tree. Well the man's wife had him committed (she found him trying to take root in the backyard), but eventually he escapes the mental institute. I remember all these people chasing him and finally, when they think they've got him cornered in an area by the lake - they're surprised to find he's not there. There's just a lone tree standing by the lake, a tree that no one really remembers ever being there. It was very sad, but kind of sweet. The name of the movie was...(insert drumroll here)... Mr. Sycamore. And thus our little tree was named. The funny thing was that the name really stuck. We never called it the "Tree in the Front Yard", it was always "Mr. Sycamore" and everyone in the family knew what you were talking about.

Well, Mr. Sycamore grew into a gorgeous tree, like I said. But alas, the Ice Storm of '98 hit Maine. I was away at University, my family was down here without power for a week and every night at 6:00, I could be seen standing in my apartment in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada holding my phone to the television (which was tuned to the Bangor, Maine news station) so my parents could listen to the news and weather forecast! I guess it looked like a war zone down here, but Fredericton was barely touched (we had about 3 inches of ice, but that was it).

By almost the end of the ice storm, Mum said she heard a god awful crack and then a thud against the side of the house. She looked out and there was Mr. Sycamore, split down the middle. Our beautiful shady tree was done for. Once the ice melted and spring settled in, Dad had to take the chainsaw to Mr. Sycamore - that was very emotional, we were very attached to that tree.

The following Mother's Day, my brother bought my mother a sugar maple sapling and she was planted in the same spot as Mr. Sycamore. We aptly named her, "Mrs. Sycamore." Mrs. Sycamore has been a slow grower, but she's 9 now and like her predecessor, she's the first to bud and the last to drop her leaves...

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