It Is About What They Can Become

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” ~ Psalm 1:3, The Holy Bible

Today’s blog post theme is ‘tree’. I knew right away what I wanted to write about and that’s actual TREES! A little side note about the verse above, there’s an old hymn that was one of Bart’s favorites when we attended Poynor Baptist Church. I found the version below on Youtube. I don’t think I’ll ever find a version like the one we sang at that church but here’s a link to one that’s close:

Johnny Cash- I Shall Not Be Moved

(In case you’re a statistics nerd: this is the second day in a row Johnny Cash has been featured in a blog post.)

The Heritage Tree

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” ~ Proverbs 13:12, The Holy Bible

I recently blogged a little about a trip I took in 2011 to the Boston, Massachusetts area. (See the post on the Salem witch trials here.) While in Massachusetts I was going through an ancestral chart on Ancestry that listed a lineage showing the ENDICOTT family as our ancestors. A quick search on Google showed that in Danvers, Massachusetts (near Salem) was a pear tree that was several hundred years old and was brought over to the USA by the original ENDICOTT immigrant ancestor. I went to Danvers and photographed the tree.

Endicott pear tree.

I later learned there was a whole society devoted to this tree and that they had a project going to keep the tree alive. Part of the project was grafts from the tree that they sent out to members who could then grow a descendant pear tree. All of this was an effort to continue the legacy of the tree. My parents and I got two successful grafts from the pear tree and they are growing in my orchard and doing well. Subsequent research has shown that the genealogy on that particular line was incorrect. Genealogy (especially from the early years of this country) seems to be somewhat cyclical so it’s quite possible that even though that line was incorrect and did not ultimately lead to the ENDICOTT family, a future line will lead back to them. So until a connection shows up in future research I will keep nursing the trees and hope they produce fruit. If it turns out that we simply aren’t connected to them, well then I have a very unique tree with a great history and it’s a unique memento of one of the best vacations I ever took.

My Endicott pear tree.

Granny and the Chinquapin Nuts

When I was young (elementary school-aged) I was staying with Granny BATES one day and we went for a walk. She picked up a couple of Chinquapin hickory nuts off the side of the road and told me about Chinquapin trees and how she hardly ever saw any anymore because a disease had come through and killed them all. She cracked one open and we ate it. I don’t really remember how it tasted, I just remember her talking about how sweet the “chinky pins” tasted. I kept the extra nuts in a drawer for a long time. (Yikes- I might have a “saving” problem!) I even took them to school for show-and-tell. I never saw a Chinquapin hickory after that until I was an adult. Bart and I like to plant unique trees and we were talking about a project where we could preserve a native species. I told him the story about Granny and the Chinquapin hickory nuts and we decided that was the project we wanted to take on. We ordered 5 Chinquapin hickory seeds from Ozark Chinquapin Society and planted them in honor of Granny’s 100th birthday. The seedlings didn’t make it. My dad has since tried. He gave two of the seedlings to my brother and sister-in-law, gave two to me and kept one in the hopes that one of our trees would survive. Once again- mine didn’t do so well (unless, of course, they sprout up next summer and surprise me). I hope they do. I’d love to have some Chinquapins growing here again.

Granny and I at her 100th birthday party.

While We’re Talking About Chinquapins…

“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoot will not cease.” ~ Job 14:7, The Holy Bible

Speaking of Chinquapins, Bart and I saw a huge Chinquapin Oak tree this fall when we were traveling in Georgia. The tree was at Tunnel Hill, Georgia and it was so old th guide said it would have been there during the Civil War when my 3rd great-grandparents- John and Mary (MOBLEY) BATES lived in that area. She allowed us to take a few acorns off the tree and we are going to try to sprout them and grow trees from the nuts.

Me at Chinquapin Oak

The Orchard

“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” ~ Genesis 1:29, The Holy Bible

Bart and I have a small orchard. I love that orchard. We order heirloom trees from Trees of Antiquity. The quality of their trees is excellent and I love that they carry varieties that are very old. They try to keep these old varieties from becoming extinct. One year I chose an Arkansas Black apple tree in honor of my 2nd great-grandfather, George BATES, who had an apple orchard in Arkansas at the time he filed his Homestead Entry file.

Homestead Entry file document for George BATES.

It seems like Granny always had an apple tree wherever she lived. If I’m not mistaken, the tree behind Uncle Butch in the photo below is her apple tree on the place that is now Junior Anderson’s outside Southwest City, Missouri.

The “Maker” Trees

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30, The Holy Bible

My Dad (Roy DRAKE), brother Jared, and nephew Patrick, have used trees from my Papa (Eugene) DRAKE’s and great-grandfather Mark DRAKE’s old home places to make things like pens and other woodturned items. My husband cut a huge burl from an old tree on our place hoping that Dad can find some time to practice turning a bowl. Dad has made Christmas ornaments, bats, gavels, and other things out of the trees that have been cut. He does a great job!

Mechelle’s gavel

My sister-in-law Becky and I have made jellies and syrup from tree fruits/nuts. One year I picked the blossoms off our Redbud trees and gave them to Becky. She made them into Redbud Jelly. (It tastes a lot like grape jelly, in case you’re wondering. Very delicious!) I’ve helped make a couple of batches of hickory syrup and in fact, I have a pint sitting on my kitchen table ready to send to a friend in exchange for the maple syrup she sent to me one year. My friend, Kendra, and her husband tap their maple trees up north and make their own syrup. It’s heavenly! Bart and I enjoy foraging together. This year we dug up some Sassafras root for tea and picked/dried some Sassafras leaves for filé powder so we can try Filé Gumbo. We also picked up Black Walnuts but it didn’t appear to be a very good year for walnuts. In fact, it wasn’t really a good year for most wild trees and plants. I’ve even foraged juniper berries and used them in a roast. We love to try new things like that.

I Just Love Trees!

“…Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy…” ~ Psalm 96:12, The Holy Bible

Recently the weather has been windy and I’ve enjoyed hearing the wind blow through the leaves and branches. It’s a soothing sound. The solitude and peace out here in the woods is refreshing. Take some time this week to walk through the forest and enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s good for the soul.

P.S.- If you’re a Christian, you have this glorious tree to look forward to. I can’t wait to see it, too.

“Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” ~ Revelation 22:2, The Holy Bible

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

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