Yesterday I posted this picture. Grace commented, "I love lilies and I love that tree!" In response I wrote, "Grace. the tree represents the spirit of generosity, for when I was visiting Cousin Jacquie in Louisiana, I admired her tree spirits. When we were leaving, she handed me a shoebox which contained that little gem."
At that point, I realized I was into the beginning of a blog post. So I ended there, and continue here today.
Jacquie, six months older than I, is the youngest of four children and the only daughter of my Aunt Bill. When Wilma was born in 1902, she had an older brother. She would have five more brothers before her sister was born. There would be two more boys after that. Never doubt that Aunt Bill could hold her own. And hold her own she did, as she raised her four children on her own.
Jacquie met a Cajun soldier boy from Louisiana at a USO dance which she attended with her mother. Mama slipped the boy the phone number. A few weeks later, Jacquie, at age seventeen, was a married woman. Of course she moved to Louisiana.
Sixty years pass. We are in Louisiana. We stop to visit my cousin. What a great reunion! In the course of our visit I said something about "my Aunt Bill." Jacquie clapped her hands with delight and said, "I had forgotten that Mama's brothers called her Bill!"
So the visit ended, as all good things must do, and I've already revealed how we came to possess the tree spirit. I should have known. I admired the thing as it looked out from the pecan tree in her back yard. To admire is to receive. I once had a similar experience when visiting Jacquie's brother, Dale. He had a coin purse which I remarked on, saying that my dad had one much like it. Dale gave me the purse.
Jacquie also gave me this one which inhabits the ash tree in the back yard.