My husband and I live in the house I grew up in. As a child, I remember my dad planting a variety of trees after nearly all our shade trees were lost due to the Dutch Elm Disease in the 1960s. One of the new trees he planted included a small honey locust in the side yard.
We watched that little honey locust grow into a beautiful tree despite dreading the huge seed pods that fell every fall. And then, tragically, in 1990, on the same night that a tornado ripped through Plainfield, our honey locust was severely damaged and had to be cut down.
Since we were in the process of constructing an addition to the house, my husband had a brilliant idea: use the fallen honey locust to build a floor for the sunroom we planned. He arranged to have the tree quartered, planked, and cured, and then found a skilled tradesman to help craft our new floor.
Today, when we sit in that sunroom, memories come rushing back. I remember my teenage friends playing badminton in the yard under that beautiful tree. My family enjoyed many outdoor cookouts on our patio shaded by a linden, pin oak, and that honey locust tree my father planted. Since he was a person who truly treasured his outdoor surroundings and made certain his family learned about the value of trees, I think we have honored his memory in the best possible way.