How many share a love for a special tree?

From our March 2013 issue

By Magdelina (Yungwirth) Bernier – St. Louis, Sask.

I wish I could still climb trees like I used to as a child. My brother, Tony, and I had this one wonderful tree that grew along a fence line with nothing around it but open field. We’d pretend it was our airplane. We’d fancy ourselves flying anywhere in the world we wanted to go.

The cockpit had all the levers, switches, gauges, and gadgets every branch or twig could afford. There were even more carved into the bark. This was during WWII, when Tiger Moth and Stinson trainer planes from the Prince Albert base were often seen flying over or around us. Pilots would often buzz the school, driving our teacher mad, but to our sheer delight.

My nephew, who has the land now, informed me a while ago they were thinking of taking down the tree. “Oh no!” I cried, “Not my tree.” I started to relate stories of my and his dad’s time in that tree. He jumped up and called his daughter saying, “You have to hear this!”

To her delight, she had an ally in her cause in not cutting down this tree. I guess she loved it too and had her own stories to tell. She grew up on the same farm and has a similar love affair with said tree. How many young people can share memories of their childhood and such fond tales of just a tree?

My nephew visited us earlier this spring and the first thing I asked was, “Did you take down my tree?”

He laughed and said, “No, it’s still standing. We farmed around it – again!”

My niece, Audrey, and I took a road trip to see a couple of the wonderful trees in my life. My brother and I also revisited our special trees some 70 years later. Our second tree was one in the Nisbet Forest simply called “The Big Tree”. We often stopped there to rest the horses when we went to the city for groceries.

Tony and Magdelina’s beloved tree, taken in August 2012 just north of Prince Albert, Sask.

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