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Where the Wisteria Grew

8 Feb

The Wisteria Grew on Forest Glen Rd, in the suburbs of Virginia.

It was brought to Virginia from Augusta, Georgia. Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law dug it up together and drove it all the way up the coast to give it a new home.

When it first got there it was just roots, waiting to grow.

It was small like the children that lived there, four sisters.

In the summers they would have wheelbarrow races. Their big, strong father would pile them up inside the wheelbarrow and run them up and down the hills of the yard until he was bone tired, and they still yelled for more.

When the seasons changed, and the colorful leaves fell, their father would rake up huge mounds for the girls to jump in. One by one they would disappear under the crispy leaves.

The girls loved to climb the trees, they had elaborate plans to build a clubhouse on the top of the tallest one, with wooden walkways from tree to tree, so they could live like the Ewoks.

 The winters came and it would often snow, they would go sledding and run into the fence where the mean dogs were. Afterward, their mom would have hot coco waiting, and they would take their soaked jackets and shoes off by the fireplace in the basement.

One Christmas they got a puppy!

He was a West Highland Terrier, as white as snow. They named him Woody after the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the bridge they drove over into Maryland to get him.

Woody was a hunter and digger as a youngster, he dug up holes all over the yard and it made his master furious.

During the spring their mother would garden a lot, there were always tall stalks of sunflowers, large bushes of Hydrangea’s, tulips, roses, you name it, she had it in the yard at one point.

and the Wisteria grew….

The roots became thick as a tree branch, and wrapped its way around their back porch, eventually it reached up into a nearby tree.

In the summers they would have a party they called “Crabfest”.  They gathered up all of their friends, ate bushels of crabs, listened to music (usually the classics), played games, drank beer -played games while drinking beer, and if the Redskins were playing, the TV would be out on the back porch so everyone could watch.

Their Thanksgiving table started to get full. Before long, many of the daughters had husbands and children. Dinner was always set up buffet style because, there was too much food to put on the table. After dinner, everyone would be sprawled out on the couches in the basement to watch the game. The girls, now women, would banter loudly back and forth with their mother, and the men would pretend not to mind.

Winters were different now, instead of the daughters sledding, their children were. Their mother was now a Nanny, and making coco for the grandkids. The house full of daughters had grown up. Their kids would wrestle and run around the house and their Nanny would always calm them down with some crafts and quiet time.

Christmas time was now a time for the family to reunite in their childhood home. Presents would spill out from under the Christmas tree and the grandkids would be crazy with anticipation to open them.

Before long their dog, Woody, was an old man, he was no longer digging holes and enjoyed resting in the sun next to the wisteria.  He had a long life of 17 years and was laid to rest in the back yard he loved so much. They planted a tree above his grave so he could watch the squirrels and the birds from doggie heaven.

Woodys Tree

and the Wisteria grew….

The Wisteria grew so big and strong that it started to pull down tree branches, the tree itself had grown so big that it was towering over the house.  During the many storms the tree endured, it had become a hazard.

In the Summer, they planned to take it down, but first, they would have one last Crabfest under the tree. They didn’t know it then, but that year was to be the last of the Crabfests. Everyone gathered again as they did year after year. This time the friends also had kids and the yard was full of playing munchkins. The games had changed into supervising the splashing in the baby pool and rolling around in the sand box. The drinking had decreased drastically, and the conversations were a lot more…edited.

The next day, all the daughters, husbands and children were there, ready to take down their family tree.

Piece by piece it came down, the father, the son-in-laws, the oldest of the grandsons worked as the women watched with the kids. The house was safe now, but different. The time had changed and the world was somehow different, they knew it was the beginning of a new era.

The daughters went back to their homes. Spreading from California to Massachusetts, they had found their own lives and had their own families now.

It was time for the parents to retire and explore, and that’s just what they did.

They bought a smaller house in the south where they were born and raised. The Mother dug up the Wisteria, just as she had done in Georgia those many years ago.

 It would return to the south once again, just like they would.

Roots as thick as a tree.

Christine Kay


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