Sunday, March 20, 2011

Two Fir Trees

Turning 41 today, in GH's childhood home, in Miami Township, about half an hour outside of downtown Cincinnati. GH's parents have been most lovely in welcoming me to their home. His mum, E, is making me a blackberry pie for my birthday. His father's energy is undissipated. He is carving a large wooden medallion for the new community center; at the center of the medallion is the face of the president William Henry Harrison, who died in his 32nd day in office, due to complications of pneumonia, the first president to die in tenure. N, GH's father, is also working on a new table, to be made of cherry wood. His energy, barely contained, sometimes comes forth in a burst of song or nonsense plosives, or in a tattoo of drumming fingers on the table. 

We will go to GH's church this morning, have lunch with his friend K, and then have dinner with his friends L and S. He has been busy sorting out his things, in order to decide what to drive back to NY, and what not. His parents must be sad to see this final proof that their youngest is moving permanently out of the nest.

The woods behind the house, where GH spent many happy days, are gone, replaced by houses, sheds and pet chickens, those pesky reminders of vanished family farms. Two huge fir trees stand at the boundary of the family's land. E told me that she brought them home from the Rockies when they were mere saplings. She stuffed them in old bread, and then forgot about them. Months later, when she found them, she gave two to the oldest daughter, and planted two, and now these conical firs are the tallest things from the view of the dining room. Plant them deep, she said, and give them lots of water, and that's it. 

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