Tuesday, July 14, 2015

RIP, Sweet Cherry Tree

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Long before there was a Cherry Hill, GA, there were three Yoshino Cherry Trees in my side yard. And there was In the Shade of the Cherry Tree's original post

On June 30, John and I took down the old Cherry Tree, the last one of the original three, but in recent years, it has had fewer flowers and even fewer leaves. Add the increasingly dead limbs, and you have a sick, dying tree.

Rest easy, there is a newer tree already in place with plans for another one next spring--possibly a different variety of cherry tree to extend the blooming time. To put this in perspective, you have to realize that it's from this tree and its siblings, that all things Cherry Hill have sprung. 

Setting is one of the necessary building blocks of fiction. It helps readers ground their feet in our stories and allows them to "be" in it.  When I started Mother's Day in March 2008, I only knew that Laura Grace Chandler was meeting a child who would change her life forever. From that small beginning, I have developed the following works-in-progress:
  • Mother's Day
  • Friendly Fire
  • Consuming Fire/Justice and Mercy
  • Line of Fire
  • Camp Fire
  • Unexpected Child
  • The Founding of Cherry Hill
  • Elise Dooley's Story
And predating them all is one WIP that's not set in Cherry Hill. In fact, it's not even set on Earth. ;-)--The Dawn and the Lion.

So, in memory of the cherry trees that started all things Cherry Hill, I give you some pictures and some snips. Enjoy!

     The square was lined with cherry trees in full leaf casting cool shade over the brick sidewalks. I rather missed April’s pink clouds of cherry blossoms drifting over the carpet of rose, white, and pink azaleas at their feet. Though on a hot day in May, shade might be more refreshing. Either way, Cherry Hill always dressed for the season. (from Mother's Day)

     The two construction cranes that looked like they were mating over the Court House expansion, gave me pause. I knew it was my perspective. They weren’t actually touching. I’d checked. But it would explain the explosion of new buildings all over town. (from Mother's Day)

    I looked over the small lake. On the dam, crape myrtles in riotous bloom alternated with the cherry trees in full leaf. I took a deep breath. Another group’s grill behind our table rewarded me with a whiff of smoke. (from Mother's Day)

     The cool, green leaves of the cherry tree moved slightly when I stepped onto the porch. The low, repetitive call of a mourning dove hunting its mate sounded from the shadowy depths of the limbs. But no answer came. The moments stretched as I stood on the porch in the simmering air. The bird’s plaintive call sounded again. When there was no answer, it lifted on white-tipped wings. (from Mother's Day)

     I uncapped the pen again then looked out of the window at my garden. It was spectacular this year. Even though the heat would bake everyone’s annuals, my carefully selected perennials were bright and colorful, a welcoming space of solace and refuge, especially since Tom’s death. I wanted to provide Samantha with all the care she needed to grow strong. To provide her with shelter like the full-leaved cherry tree that shaded my study from the summer glare. (from Mother's Day)

Next week: Another Mini Book Review!