My 88-year-old Dad just planted a new variety of apple tree in his back yard because he “likes to watch them grow and bear fruit”. He already has several fruit trees and enjoys nurturing them through the various seasons. He’s had some success with grafting and at one point had four varieties of apples on a single tree. Obviously he doesn’t put much stock in the old adage about not buying green bananas. After all, my parents only go grocery shopping once a week so bananas have to be green to last.
Still living in and managing your own home and garden at 88 is commendable. Dad still cuts his own grass and with the help of a snowblower he clears his own driveway in the winter. When the snow on the roof was reaching unsafe levels, he carved a path to the front window so he could reach part of the roof with the snow rake to pull the weight off the roof. He also cleared a path in the deep snow to the end of his garden so he could cart out their daily organic waste to the compost bin. My parents eat fresh vegetables from their garden all summer and into the fall and winter. And now he has a new apple tree to tend to.
I hope my Dad’s optimism and love of such simple things as a tree is still with me when I’m 88. We planted a rather sad little weeping cyprus tree at our house and as I watch it grow into into a beautiful tree in the years to come, I’ll be reminded of my father and his optimistic little apple tree.
Father’s Day is a chance for those of us who still have our fathers to be thankful for what we have and for those who have lost their fathers, to be thankful for what they had. After all, they’re the roots of our family tree.