DAY 149

TREE 102

I left the Mary Anderson Center and my work in my show for a long weekend at my grandma’s. I drove up to Upper Sandusky, Ohio with my parents and got in around 2pm. It was an amazingly beautiful day. The heat and humidity has finally waned. Just before we ate I headed out front to climb one of the two red maples. I chose the one on the right if you are facing the front of the house. These trees are perfect for climbing. I would have loved to have something just like this growing up. The branches are low to easily get in the tree and there are many branches off the trunk to get really high. Unfortunately these trees aren’t huge so I didn’t get that high but I got all the way to the top. I could tell these high limbs had been trimmed at one point because they stopped suddenly and then it is all thin, young limbs with lots of leaves. I secured my feet and broke through the foliage to get my first view out from the tree. A very beautiful blue sky with a slight breeze that demanded I be careful. I snapped some shots over the rooves and down the street. Then I climbed down trying to go smoothly and swing. A good new climb, but this means I’ll have to climb more than 180 days to finish all the reclimbs. I say, the more trees the better.

8-31-08:  Seriously, look at the color of the sky in those pictures.  Those are some of the most gorgeous blues you could ever witness.  Now just imagine yourself in the top of the tree with that blue sky everywhere over you.  Do it.  Close your eyes.  Now open your eyes and get outside and this beautiful holiday weekend and climb a tree. 

The tree is numberd as 102 since it was a new climb and follows the order right after my new climbs from Lake Michigan.  That is also why there are no smaller images nor any ribbons.  I guess I failed to collect a leaf which would have been nice since it was the only red maple tree I climbed during the year.

In that last picture you can see the Rite-Aid and Benjamin Franklins.  When I stayed with my grandparents back in the summers of middle school I used to walk over there to buy candy.  I also bought a Upper Sandusky t-shirt there as a souveneir.  I still have it but it doesn’t fit too well….  Good memories.

Currently my parents are visiting my grandma.  Since I am busy with things I didn’t go and this time they went to the lake to fish.  I am a little sad not to be there but it’s okay.  I have never really loved fishing.  I guess that’s becuase I never caught many so it was a lot of hours of sitting and bobbing up and down, and getting lots of sun with no possibility to escape it for hours.  Then when we got back to land I would still feel the bobbing of the waves.  Dramamine anyone?

Yesterday I went to Norman’s place in southern Indiana to help him build a lean-to on the side of his barn.  At lunch we drove over to the former Rock Wall restaurant to help Norm’s sister, Ada, pack up some kitchen items for her new place.  She’s a dessert chef… and a damn good one.  Then Norm and I ate some pizza and then headed back to his house to stack some wood under the lean-to.  By the time we finished that we were quite hot and tired and decided to go for a swim in the lake.  We took a couple beers with us and stuck our feet in the muck and cooled off.  As we swam back we were throwing the cans filled with water.  On my second throw an edge caught the top of the right index finger and sliced some skin right off.  Luckily it didn’t go too deep but it bled a lot.  Norm used to work in the ER and had some good first aid to wrap it up.  Then we sat while I picked splinters from my hand.  It was quite the day for minor injuries.  I also had a board slam right into my shin and cut and bruised it.  All this and it was getting dark and I hadn’t climbed a tree yet.  Norm was tempting me with an interesting looking movie called "Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus."  I had first planned on just going home and finding an easy tree at the park.  It my state I didn’t feel like struggling up a difficult tree in the woods.  Then I just thought, screw it, I’ll find something and headed outside in the dark.  

I walked down his drive way and then up to St. Johns Church Road.  He lives right at a sharp curve and with no shoulder I had to watch for cars.  A few came as I looked for a tree and I had to run to the side they weren’t on.  It was so dark out here in the country I couldn’t see shit and was wondering how I was going to find a tree.  But when another car came buy the head lights shined on some leaves hanging over the road.  They looked pretty low so I figured the tree may work.  I crossed the road and crawled up the side of the hill a few feet to the base of the small maple.

I felt around the trunk and there wasn’t any branches too low, but by this point, I wasn’t about to go looking for another tree, so I grabbed a hold and started to shimmy.  I got to the first limb and began to climb.  I couldn’t really see anything as I went but a car would occassionally drive by and give me a little glimpse of my surroundings.  I just had to reach out into the blackness and feel for branches.  I’d feel their thickness, test their strength and move on.  Slowly, my eyes began to adjust I started to make out the sillouhettes of limbs.  But by the time I could do that the trunk stopped and split into a few branches and I was at the top.  Awesome!  I reached the top, this was actually a good tree choice.  I croutched down and took out my camera.  I took some shots with my flash but listened carefully for coming cars because I knew they would make good shots.

The more I used the camera with its flas
h and the light from the viewing screen my eyes went back to seeing nothing in the dark.  I would point my camera and have no idea if there was a leaf right in front of it.  I took one where I figured my foot would be in it, but had no idea the lens cap was right in front of it too.

Then finally the some cars came and went.

I took a couple more pictures with flash then figured I should get back to Norm’s to watch the movie.

As I began my descent I really couldn’t see anything.  I would just hold tight with my hands and lower my leg and feel around for a branch.  It’s kind of fun and not scary at all because I had no idea how high I was.  I made it down fine, my back felt good, my leg was fine, my finger was fine, and I was so happy I went to climb.  So often I think, "damn, I have to go climb a tree."  But then I make myself go out there and do it, and it is always worth it.  I climbed, I could relax and just watch a movie with Norm.  It was a good day.