Tuesday, August 24, 2010


“The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree” is a common expression around here.

Whenever I mimic my mom’s behavior or one of my sons reaffirms his parentage, I utter that expression. I’m curious about the origins of that saying and should put my friend Holly Jacobs on it. She recently enlightened me on the meaning of ‘getting down to brass tacks.’ Romance writer Holly, an Erie, PA resident, and I ‘talk’ via e-mail every day and have for years. Without her boundless optimism, I’d be lost.

Originally I’d planned to blog about a story I read in this morning’s Omaha World Herald about a storm that felled the ailing chestnut tree Anne Frank gazed upon while hiding in the jam warehouse in Amsterdam.

Three springs ago on a trip across the pond, I gazed at that sickly tree and tried to imagine my sons unable to go outside for two years. When they were little, I couldn’t imagine them going more than two minutes without going outside. Last fall, I wrote about Anne and her father.

My intent was to write about my appreciation of trees, my love for my children, the irony of moving to a state (Nebraska) that is the home of Arbor Day yet lacks trees, my 7th grade science project in Sault Ste. Marie on Dutch Elm disease, and the universality of a parent’s love for a child and the horrors inflicted on all of humanity by evil.

Kind of an overwhelming agenda.

Instead, I will just murmur a quiet thanks my babies are growing into fine young men. And I’ll remind myself the most important part of holding on is letting go.

1 comment:

  1. Pam,

    I saw the news story about Ann Frank's tree and felt bad. I googled your phrase, and according to ChaCha, it's Eastern origin, and it is used to illustrate continuity of family characteristics. It means you're similar to your parents, both physically and emotionally.

    You know talking about trees makes me happy. We've got 18 acres worth of trees at camp, and nine on our small city lot. I'm a tree hugger. But talking about family makes me even happier. Our kids have discovered that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I was talking to my oldest yesterday explaining how to cook asparagus in the broiler, and as I talked about turning it, I shook an imaginary cookie sheet in my hand. I laughed at myself as I did it, and told her what I'd done. She cracked up because she'd done the exact same thing! LOL

    Yes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree here!