Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Grandma's Tree by guest contributor Mom

Grandma had told me the story before but today she was going to show me! The Overturf farm she grew up on, the Como school she had attend, and tree that she had cared for as a girl.
The gravel road crackled as the car rolled to a stop.

“There it is”, Grandma said as she pointed to a lone pine tree perched up on the top of a large rock on the barren the hillside. I starred out the window. My six years of age made the tree look like a giant standing there atop the boulder. “Wow can I climb up there,” I asked filled with excited anticipation?

“Sure but you be careful. Go around the back side where the hill is closer to the top of the rock” she explained to me. I scrambled up with out even noticing the look that came over her. She had been here many times in her lifetime.

The gentle breeze tugged at whips of hair as her mind drifted back in time to when she was the little girl filled with wonder. “Daddy, Daddy, guess what I found today? A little baby tree.” She said pausing to catch her breath.

“ Well tell me Mabel,” Her Daddy said with a smile,” What is so special about a baby tree?”
“It’s up there Daddy, on the big rock. Right there on the top of that big rock. I saw it when I was out sploirng!”

“The word is exploring” he smiled at his little daughter. As she hurried on. “Exploring. I found it up there and it was thirsty so I took a cup of water up there to it. I am going to water it every day so it can grow big. Every morning on my way to school!”

Well now that is a fine idea but you have to do your chores first and you can’t be late for school.”
“Oh Daddy,” she smiled up at him as she climbed up into his lab.

Mabel smiled to herself as she fondly remembered those days.
“Grandma” I broke in on her reminiscing, “Look I am all the way up here”

“You be careful now. Do you see how the roots of the tree have grown so strong that they have cracked the rock?”

“Is this really the tree Grandma?”

“Yes, it sure is. The very tree that I watered as a little girl.”

I stood tall there at the base of the tree. I could look out over the valley that stretched out before me. From my lofty perch I could see the Como schoolhouse that Grandma had attended, The beautiful Como Peaks that were so blue in contrast to the snow that covered their sharp peaks. Turning I could see Shook Mountain, named for My Great Grandfather, Granville Shook and Tabor Mountain, that was closer just across from the school. Tabor Mountain was named after my Great Grandpa Tabor. What a rich heritage this valley holds for me.

As here I stood at the base of the tree. The roots had indeed cracked the large boulder and had grown down into it. The tree stood tall on top of the rock as if to stretch out to see the beautiful Bitterroot Valley in which it was privileged to be a part of. The tree is a monument of sorts to a little girl, Mabel (Overturf, Cornish) McKillop, who loved and cared for it those many days long ago.



Mom was raised in the Bitteroot Valley of Montana

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Good story. We've lived many places and planted a tree at every one of them.