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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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trees

Day 15 – Rt 66 trip

We got up when all the people walking past our door and slamming car doors woke us. Some hotels are just better than others. Last nights was the old model with all the doors outside and a parking lot between two buildings so every noise reverberated off the walls. Oh well, it was time to get up anyway. We had a small breakfast that came free with our nights stay.

We backtracked on Rt.40 to visit the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. It was worth every penny of the $20.00 fee. One scenery picture is as good as or different in some way to the one before. Even the little kids were going, “Wow,” when they saw the sights over the railings.

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Painted desert. Needs no other explanation except the pictures don’t do it justice. It was cloudy and misty the whole time we were there. Some sunshine would have made everything more vibrant.

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Another view.

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And another. Sorry my finger likes to get in the shots.

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More depth.

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Below was taken straight down over a railing. The shiny copper color at the bottom center is a petrified tree. You must see these views for yourself to appreciate them.

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The blackness comes from volcanic rock and basalt.

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So much of 66 in this area is buried under Rt. 40, not driveable anymore, or inaccessible on Native American lands, but going through Winslow, Arizona, the route is alive and well for a few miles. We guess it is probably the most famous corner of the whole route because of the Eagles song, Take It Easy, which mentions standing on the corner. Some guys that had just arrived on their Harley’s took this picture for us. Everyone was very friendly and having a good time. The eagle on the window sill and the couple seen above us are paintings. Really good ones.

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Below is Glen Fry, one of the musicians in the Eagles band.

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A brewery down the street was serving lunch to football fans, beer fans, and travelers. Bob and I both ordered a salad.

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The server brought us our beers and said the glasses looked different but were both 16 oz. We told her we would share a water so she brought a large mug and two straws. It was just like being at the old fashioned soda fountain again.

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We got back on Rt. 40 and decided we didn’t need another gift shop or similar museum to what we had already seen, so headed to Flagstaff. Below is a mountain that loomed large on the horizon and the fields were still arid. There were signs to watch for Elk and deer, but we were lucky enough not to see any.

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That mountain range is getting closer and now we have fur tree lined roadways.

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The closer we got to the mountains, the less easy it became to get another picture. We did stop so Bob could put a coat on. We had the top down and the temp had fallen to 68 degrees. There’s a pretty good wind chill when you are going 75 mph. We hadn’t seen any real trees in three days.

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Tonight we are sleeping in Williams, AZ, in the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The building is a huge and shaped like a baseball diamond with a nice courtyard in the middle. The ticket office and restaurant are in different buildings so we are getting our steps in. We bought a package so  had dinner in the buffet room. I had penne pasta with pesto sauce and shrimp and a salad. Dessert was a apple pie ala mode.

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Singing folk songs during our meal was Jason. We sat and listened until he finished for the evening. I got another spurt of country music. Live at that. You can tell how good he is by the over flowing tip basket, and a lot of those bills are fives.

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The internet has been going off and on all evening. Tomorrow we are going into the park and will stay on the South Rim. I don’t know how the internet will work, so if I miss a day, check my regular Facebook page at Sue Carmichael Spitulnik for pictures.

 

Through the Woods

        Me and my dog walk down the hill through the woods to the river most days, usually to bring the cows back up to the barn. In the springtime we pick leeks that grow under the black walnut trees. Rascal rolls in them and Mama gets mad because he stinks. In the fall we collect the nuts. They’re bitter but add a good flavor to cookies. If we sit quiet under the willow in the summer we see beaver swimming and deer drinking. I wish the house had been built down by the river. It’d save lots of walking 

 

In response to Charli Mills May 16, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes in search of trees. It can be one particular tree, a grove, woods, or forest. What makes the tree worth seeking? Go where the prompt leads!

Trees in My Life – memoir

Irene Waters asked writers to share memoir about trees. Following is the link if you want to join the fun. She asks for our generation and location so we can compare differences.

Trees: Times Past

Baby Boomer from rural western New York State.
Currently I look out our family room window and delight at the action of many different kinds of birds that visit the feeders. The Niger seeds and suet hang from a crabapple tree. There is a “fake tree” everyone perches on made from large branches stuck into the hole in a patio table (where the umbrella would go) and a large cedar that wiggles constantly because there are so many sparrows and other birds perched in/on it. Keeping the feeders full is a daily job, but the entertainment is worth every penny the seed costs.
In the 1950’s and 60’s my parents owned an acre of pine trees that my grandfather had planted to sell for Christmas trees. As the youngest of four girls I can remember going “out to the woods” to cut our Christmas tree. They were not trimmed like today so looked a bit scraggly and were soon to big to be used. Then the trees became the play area for the town children. Both boys and girls had separate forts. Our mother’s would scold us for getting pine pitch on our clothes.
From my sister Paula… “I think Tilley (our cat) would spy on me when I climbed trees and checked on bird nests. Then they would get robbed!!
Joanne and I played, for hours, out in the back left corner. There was a pussy willow tree there we cut branches from each year.
I knew the whole area very well and ventured farther out back, across fields (don’t know who owned them) and on into Uncle Louie’s woods where he had an old sugar shack. On one of my walks I saw a beautiful Snowy Owl. Dee (Our dachshund) would go with me and dig up baby mice and voles, and eat them!
One warm afternoon, Joanne came looking for me and asked, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT HERE?’ I was lying on the ground, watching the clouds float by and listening to birds and bugs singing…… near a pile of fence row trees that had been bulldozed up to make more space for growing crops. Dee loved snooping all through the brush and would chase rabbits, howling as they scooted away, because she couldn’t keep up.”
Trees have always been an important part of my life, like good friends.
Thank you Irene for the walk down memory lane.

Be a Tree Hugger

Today is National Love a Tree day. Trees provide more than just beautiful landscapes and a shady canopy on a sunny day.  They play a significant role in reducing erosion and moderating the climate as well as give us oxygen. Large quantities of carbon are stored in their tissues as trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

That’s the adult version of why we should love trees. I think my grandson’s idea is better. He has a maple tree in his back yard that is the perfect climbing tree. The large branches are close enough to the ground that he and his friends can ascend easily. There are enough large branches that three or four boys can be in the tree at the same time and they each have their own spot to sit. When it gets quiet in the yard, I have learned to look up. They haven’t run off to one of the other boys yards, they are usually up in the tree. It always makes me smile.

I lived in Washington state when the tree huggers and ornithologists shut down logging for a time in order to save the habitat of the spotted owl. I’m a big animal lover but they almost killed the economy of the town and livelihood of the people where the logging companies had their headquarters. Personally I think people and jobs are more important than animals, but we don’t want to start an argument.

Think a second about the Christmas tree. Our winter would sure be drab without the holiday lights adorning pine trees; and in the south and west, palm trees.

It is the week of the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, and the Dogwood Festival in Dansville, NY. I know, lilacs are bushes, but I can drive down almost any street in my area right now and see the flowering trees and bushes in bloom. It is a beautiful energizing sight and smells good too. We also have to thank trees for their yummy fruit, tasty nuts, and how they are the homes to so many animals.

When you get around to thinking about all the reasons trees are important, it really is fitting they have a special day for some extra love.

 

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