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Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 01:54 pm

Them there trees

My father likes to recite the poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer. “I think that I shall never see / a poem lovely as a tree.” We’re quite the tree and bird family. My mother’s email even has bird in the address. 

Thanksgiving weekend, trees and birds were on my mind. I had a lovely visit with the family. We talked about my sister’s manicured fir tree forest and the fallen Bradford Pear that now burned in the fireplace. We commented on mom and dad’s maturing maple and cypress. We remembered old, large friends that had fallen in the woods after this year's storms.

My ride home, over the river and through others woods, brought Christmas lights and decorated trees in windows and talk about when we might put our tree up. Once back in Springfield, Memorial’s Festival of Trees was a perfect event to move us from one holiday into the next.

My favorite trees were these below. I love simple brown wrapping. It reminds me of earthy things. Even though I've been able to purchase flashy gift wrap, I’ve always reached for the supermarket sacks to wrap presents in, and topped them with a pinecone or tied them with corn hulk ribbon. The Outlet decorated this green and tan presentation, purchased by MD Designs by Metal Décor. See the beautiful burlap!


Main Street Animal Clinic decorated this military tree, purchased by H.F. Fritsch and Sons, Inc. This tree is even more dear to me because my son is active Army. I’m so proud of his service and adherence in all aspects of his life to the Army’s values -- loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

This tree below made me think of my mother and father because of its owl theme. I remember an owl that set on our fireplace hearth in my childhood home, my mother’s oversized owl necklace, owl pictures that adorned and still adorn their home, etc.

 And this cardinal was singing to me from this lovely red, white and black presentation.

This tree below was a festival winner. Sometimes things that glitter really are gold. Sometimes large and shiny and plentiful are just plain and simply gorgeous, too. Brandt Consolidated sponsored and bought this tree decorated by Evelyn Thomas.

And one more presentation that caught my eye was this lovely green, white and silver display. See that silver bird in the place setting.

I hope you were able to make it out to Memorial’s Festival of Trees. If not, it will return in 2014 around Thanksgiving. (I didn’t get my annual gingerbread cookie because I visited on the last day of the festival but enjoyed some awesome tree time for sure.)

So as you journey from holiday into holiday, may you find simple little things that make you smile, birds that sing just for you, and some of the poetry in life the kind that moves your heart. “Poems are made by fools like me / But only God can make a tree.”


Send poems and stories to Poetry, Etc. to astienstra@illinoistimes.com.

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