Scent of Spring


I used to climb trees. Apple trees, to be exact. My parents' house bordered an apple orchard, and we had three or four old, craggy crab apple trees in our backyard. The apples were inedible – tiny, yellow-green and rock-hard, worm-eaten, mouth-puckering sour if you dared take a bite. But I wasn't interested in the apples anyway. I was in it for the climbing.

I had my favorite – the tree on the edge of Mrs. Fellow's lawn. It was the sturdiest, with broad, knobby limbs that hung over the lawn; gnarled hollows rounded by birds, perfect for storing a thermos of orange juice and a baggie of Keebler chocolate-covered grahams; a trunk that fit the small of my back snug.

When tightly furled, the apple blossom buds shone fuschia pink, a delicate firework dangling from each branch. Later they softened to white upon opening, just a hint of champagne blush still visible on petals. Come mid-May, the trees burst with white blossoms, their fragrance light and fresh like Love's Baby Soft. When the breeze blew, petals drifted like wedding confetti onto the lawn, springy snow.

The blooms shielded me from the world as I sat for hours in my tree, paging book after book – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh; The Borrowers Afloat; Island of the Blue Dolphins; Misty of Chincoteague. Honeybees hummed and burrowed into blossoms, while giant, furry bumblebees flew drunkenly past my ear, legs coated heavy and yellow with pollen.

I spied on the neighbors behind that perfumed shield. The Fellows boy, lanky-legged, shooting baskets, bang off the backboard. Mr. Walsh, grilling burgers, beer in hand. Mrs. Kessler inching toward the mailbox, housecoat snapping in the wind, dog yapping in the bay window.

Days moved more slowly back then, when all that lay before me was a good read on a firm perch, the scent of spring a light blanket all around.

I'm sharing memories of spring with Jo at Mylestones today.

Cassandra Frear  – (April 16, 2010 at 7:20 AM)  

Lovely childhood memory.

I'd probably have trouble relaxing with bees around, though.

togetherforgood  – (April 16, 2010 at 7:48 AM)  

My babysitter had an apple tree in her backyard and we used to climb it up and shake the apples down. They were edible though. I'm sure my memory is inaccurate because I remember all us kids back there just eating apples all afternoon every day one fall. :)

S. Etole  – (April 16, 2010 at 8:52 AM)  

I was a tree climber, too ... pine trees with pitch .... my poor mother ... but she never complained about the pitch on the clothes.

jasonS  – (April 16, 2010 at 10:56 AM)  

Great memories. Nice to visit those places again, isn't it? Thanks for making me smile today!

Claire  – (April 16, 2010 at 11:52 AM)  

can i climb the tree too please?

i promise to bring a book with and maybe a chocolate surprise too.

A Simple Country Girl  – (April 16, 2010 at 12:55 PM)  

Oh that is a good thing about our new place...back to the familiar childhood trees and pine needle carpets. A delight to all senses. I used to not only climb them, but hide-out underneath those offering branch ceilings hanging low.

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement today at my tree fort ;-)

Blessings. (and yes, the photo is real...just tickled with some photo editing tool)

Charming's Mama  – (April 16, 2010 at 1:05 PM)  

Our neighbors had a crab apple tree, they talked me into eating one to play a joke on me. It wasn't very nice.

Jo@Mylestones  – (April 16, 2010 at 1:18 PM)  

Oh I just adore this last line--"Days moved more slowly back then, when all that lay before me was a good read on a firm perch, the scent of spring a light blanket all around."
Lovely! So glad you linked up today.

Allegra Smith  – (April 17, 2010 at 12:11 AM)  

Oh crab apples!So aptly named. We have one on the east side beds that I have threatened with shovel pruning every fall and I cannot bring myself to do it because of the flowers.

Thank you for coming by today, it was lovely to see your name among my blog friends. Please comeback any time. And stay off trees, the voice of experience here and no, I won't tell you how I know to stay off trees now :)

Dawn  – (April 18, 2010 at 5:56 AM)  

i'd like to be up in tha ttree...
actually, my grandpa had just such a tree in his backyard... but with all the stories of the whoopings my cousins got from climbing it, i wouldn" even go near it!

Allegra Smith  – (April 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM)  

Oh crab apples!So aptly named. We have one on the east side beds that I have threatened with shovel pruning every fall and I cannot bring myself to do it because of the flowers.

Thank you for coming by today, it was lovely to see your name among my blog friends. Please comeback any time. And stay off trees, the voice of experience here and no, I won't tell you how I know to stay off trees now :)

Claire  – (April 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM)  

can i climb the tree too please?

i promise to bring a book with and maybe a chocolate surprise too.

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