Anyone else love the book by Shel Silverstein, “The Giving Tree”?

For my whole life my parents have lived in the same house. They bought the plot and built the house before I was born. As the story goes, when they built they had to make a decision between two big and old trees on the lot. There was no way to build the house without one of the trees being cut down. The one that remained was a big ash tree and it sat in the middle of our back yard. The tree was huge, provided a lot of shade and if memory serves me correctly there were some lessons about knot tying and pulley systems with the Boy Scouts over its large limbs and kids being hoisted into the air.

Sadly the emerald ash borer beetle finally killed off the tree and my parents had to cut it down. I borrowed these images from my brother and have no before shots.


Maybe this means Mom will be able to put a garden in the back yard. She says that all the birds who come to the feeder now have a new flight pattern. No longer hopping from the ash to the feeder and back again. Maybe the stump can be a garden bench.

Ryan is “this close” to getting a new road bike. He has been saving from his allowance all year and with a little help from our tax refund he can get a nice new one. His original bike is an entry level Fuji bought when he was in grad school in Wisconsin. Given the amount of time he spends on his bike, and how much he enjoys it, I’d say this is a purchase that will not go to waste. AND, he’ll no longer have the extra set of brake handles on the bars that apparently scream “new biker”.

He has also found a “hill” to train on locally for his next triathlon. It is a bridge and he’ll have to ride up/over/turn around/repeat. What he is going to do for the hill running training I don’t know.