Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why the Tree Grew on the Roof

What's not in the picture is Mama. But she's here just beyond the rise. The reason we know this is the shape of the tracks. They go round and round. You see, Mama doesn't like backing up. she said so herself - more than once. And just to make sure we all got it she looped the house in a dirt drive and kept down the weeds by gunning the engine of the old black rumble-seat, taking it for a spin every time her and Pops argued. Their circular rants got to be a habit. Even when Pops wasn't home she'd find herself climbing in behind the wheel and gunning the engine. Next thing she knew she'd be moving with simulated progress even though her forward momentum curved back on itself the moment it could have left the old track. Once she wearied, we'd hear her skid to a halt and yank the protesting emergency brake. Nothing grew where those tires spun and that wasfinewith all of us because we'd already ran out of hose for the plants thriving on the rest of our hill. The daily jaunts around the driveway kept her occupied and unable to stick anymore plants in the ground. Even so, you need to know Mama like we know Mama and once you hear the story about the tree she planted on the roof, you'll know Mama. The idea evolved like this - it happened on the day the old car died of old age but Mama was still young. And it was a hot day and every garden hose was occupied and the white pine she'd purchased on sale at the WalMart in the 5-gal tub was busting out its tin seams. Mama took a look at that hot roof, she knew she could toss a pot of water up there with the muscles she'd developed yanking on that brake - without the hassle of tangled hoses - so she went for it. Gota load of dirt, hauled it up a ladder, one rung at a time, and planted that pine. That's our Mama. We think she's brilliant and now you know she's brilliant too.

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