Sunday, October 31, 2010


Who are you
on Halloween?

My friend Dan
still "doesn't get"

Is it all about
the candy?

Certainly Dan and I don't enjoy
the blood and gore.

We see too much of that
at work.

But as the night progresses...

...and I ask
each trick-or-treater
if I can take a picture...

... some are surprised...

....but most are just thrilled
to get their pictures taken.

Many even say thank-you
for taking their picture.

So I still think Halloween
is a lot about the costumes....

...dressing up
and being someone different
this one night of the year.

Certainly my own family
has enjoyed our
"dress-up night"
over the years...

From the year Tom scared KC
by showing up
as a tall, wordless
Darth Vader... the year Alex's friends
scared us all on our Halloween
nightly walk around The Land...

We've enjoyed our
Halloweens as a family.

In fact,
I wonder now
if our annual family pictures -

- so sweet

- so proper

...should have been
taken at Halloween times

Whatever it is
about Halloween... is still
our favorite
night of the year.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Visiting Trees

When is the best time
to plant a tree?

I'd say - twenty years ago.

I'm close to that.

I started planting trees
15 years ago.

And it's time to go visit
some of those trees
to see how they've grown.

So I hop on my bicycle
and go visit my trees...

I shouldn't say "my trees".

This was a group effort.

Over the years
hundreds of school kids
would join me to plant trees... schools...


...and, of course,
out at our Land
in the country.

And how are these little trees
doing today?


Wilbur Wright School
used to be a land of
The Big Flat Green.

We gathered the kids together...

...gave them shovels
and told them to dig!

This morning when I visit
Wilbur Wright
I find trees twenty feet tall
and more!

The kids now have
shade in the summer
and color in the fall.

And Sunnyside School -

- the one in New Castle - has birds
singing in the trees
we planted.

Baker Park
has new saplings
to help replace
their aging oaks.

The nursing home is gone now...

...but the tree is still there.

I'll never forget the tree planting
at that nursing home

The old lady in the wheelchair -
dull eyes, lost to the world.

She didn't see
the kids planting the dogwood.

But when we scooped up fresh soil
and set it in her withered hands
her face brightened with memory.

She began talking
about the gardens of her past...



Fresh green beans

...and there was joy in her eyes.

Our High School
is blessed with trees
Alex and I planted there
for her graduation.

Westwood school
has continued
the planting tradition.

Planting trees close together
they have a veritable forest
by the playground.

Red sumac
brightens their habitat...

...and their state tree of Indiana
grows taller every year!




and more...

The Westwood forest
provides riches
for birds and kids alike.

Of course, my favorite trees
to visit
are at our Land.

The Land was bare
when we started.

I'd guess we've planted
about 2,000 trees there...

with more than
a dozen school groups...

...and hundreds of kids!

Today their trees soar
high above my head...

....and fill the land

with birdsong...

and berries...

and memories.