Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Tale of Two Trees

These two trees, different as different can be, stand 100 feet from each other in front of my cabin at Roshara. They are both tall and they each have a story to tell, but that’s about it for similarities. One is a balsam fir, the other an ornamental maple.

The Balsam fir’s story begins at Pine Point Resort on Lake Georgia east of Rhinelander. In 1972, when I was teaching writing at the School of the Arts in Rhinelander, we rented a little cabin at the Resort, and Ruth and our three little kids enjoyed the resort while I was teaching. Susan, then ten years old, found several little trees growing back of our cabin. They apparently had self-seeded. Sue asked the resort owner what kind of trees these were, and he replied, “Balsam Fir.” Sue asked if she could have one of the little trees, they were probably six inches tall at the time. “Sure,” the resort owner, answered.

I helped Sue dig up the little tree and wrap the roots in some wet newspaper. We hauled the little tree back to Madison, where we planted it in our backyard. A couple years later, we transplanted the tree, now about a foot tall at Roshara—it is the only Balsam Fir among the thousands of trees that grow at my farm. Now some 45 years later this little fir has grown into a tall, graceful, beautiful tree.

On my 60th birthday, my three kids surprised me with a beautiful maple tree, which was about ten feet tall when they planted it. It grew rapidly. But alas, in about its third year at Roshara a buck deer, anxious to polish its horns, found the maple and stripped off a huge hunk of bark, nearly killing it.

But it lived, and now it puts on quite the show each fall with its brilliant crimson leaves. Not to go too far with this analogy, but as different as these two trees are and as close as they are together, they appear to be getting along just fine. A model for some of the rest of us?

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: We can learn much from trees—if we’d take time to do so.


Oct. 25 at Cambridge Public Library – Never Curse the Rain – 12:30 pm
Saturday, October 28, at Edgerton Book Festival 9 a.m.Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie.

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at Reed School, Neillsville. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie..

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land
Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984

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