Favorite Place

As I thought about this week’s challenge from Generations Cafe my mind wandered to the many beautiful sights I’ve seen in my 82 years. I’ve traveled in 47 states and a handful of foreign countries. I’ve seen the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge, Lake Louise, the North Woods of Wisconsin and the Sonoran Desert, oceans, rivers, bridges…. I could go on. However, in flipping through photos my eyes landed on this picture and my brain was flooded with memories.

Anne McDearmid with daugher Joan in the shade of the old snow apple tree

I grew up on a 5 acre farmette on Orchard Avenue in Northern Illinois. There were a couple of old apple orchards nearby but on our property there was only this one apple tree…the Snow Apple tree. It’s fruit was snowy white inside and deep pink on the outside. It made great applesauce but that’s not why I loved it. Look at the tree! So great for climbing. 

My friends and I spent many hours in this tree. This is my Mom and me and the shadow of my Dad.  I always think of the song, Oh Little Playmate” when I think of this tree because I lived that song.

Oh Little Playmate, Come out and  play with me,

And bring your dollies three, climb up my apple tree,

Holler down my rain barrel, slide down my cellar door

And we’ll be jolly friends forever more.

There are more favorite spots on this 5 acres. A creek ran through the middle of the property with two small springs of water bubbling up. I spent many afternoons on my tummy watching the water bubble and wondering how that could happen. At another spot I watched weeping willow trees grow from the sprigs my Dad cut from trees along the roadside in Zion. Decades later those trees are now part of a small community park that includes the creek. 

Over the years, after my Dad died, my Mom parceled off sections of the land and sold it to family members. My Aunt Loretta and Uncle Tom got the plot with the Snow Apple tree…I could still climb it! I was given a half acre of the land that included the willow trees. As a young married woman I did not want to live in “a family compound” so I sold the property to help pay for land in another town. I don’t regret that. I still have my fond memories of the special place where I grew up and the Snow Apple Tree.

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