Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Most Memorable Summer Memory -- by Jane Kelley

When I was young, summer days flowed together. Reading, riding bikes, swimming in Lake Michigan, playing in the woods in the backyard. All days were equally wonderful and so all days were the same. But then something astounding happened in the empty field next to our house.  

A three-masted schooner dropped anchor there. 

A space ship landed there.

Castaways built a fort there.

A dinosaur roamed there.  

All because a huge tree crashed to the ground.

(This is not the tree or the field. This is an inadequate attempt to show how startling the event was.)

We had seen plenty of fallen trees in the woods. This one was different. It was huge. It had leaves. It was so easy to climb. 

We lived in the tree, having endless adventures. Until . . ..

The first red dots appeared on someone's leg. We ignored them. We were used to poison ivy. A little itching was nothing. Then more and more dots. The rashes spread everywhere. Eventually to my face. My eye swelled shut.

Apparently, when the tree landed in the field, it crushed the poison ivy plants. The poison didn't just seep out of the pores. It oozed forth from the broken leaves. 

We spent the rest of the summer inside playing monopoly, away from the sun which made our rashes feel worse. 

The adults cut up the tree and hauled away the logs. The field was just a field again. And yet now we knew that amazing adventures were possible--when a startling event was enhanced by a lot of imagination.



  1. Isn't imagination wonderful. And it's free!

    1. Yes! And the more you use it, the larger it gets.

  2. This is too cool. I mean, not the poison ivy part but...