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The Giving Tree

A good friend of mine who was recently visiting told me this unbelievable story about her crazy neighbor. He slipped into her yard in the middle of the night, when no one was home and cut down a tree on her property. He had been complaining about the tree, saying the leaves blew over onto his property. Although this may be true, my friend loved her Norwegian Spruce and didn’t want to cut it down.

For some reason her story made me think of a favorite book I used to read to my children when they were little. I quickly began rummaging through old books until I found it…

The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.

Before I went to bed that night I decided to ‘pin’ The Giving Tree to my ‘I love a good story’ board on Pinterest. I love Pinterest, its like shopping without spending any money. If I had more time, I’d spend the whole day pinning beautiful and interesting pictures to my collection of boards. (FYI… there is a Pinterest button on my blog, right above my Versatile Blogger Award) I have nine boards and about 87 pins and a few of my pictures have been repined. Wait a minute, I’m getting off the subject here…

As I sat at my computer the following morning waiting for my tea to steep, I checked my e-mail and noticed my inbox was overflowing with notices from Pinterest. It seemed throughout the night seventy people had repined The Giving Tree from my board and ten people liked it! This had to be some kind of record?

Even if it wasn’t a record, it still shows that everyone likes this story and why not? Its a great story. When my children were small I loved reading them stories with a moral, that way we could discuss it afterwards and hopefully they’d learn something. But what is the moral to this story?

The story is about a boy and his relationship to a tree. The tree always provides the boy with the things he needs. Branches to swing on, shade in which to sit and apples to eat. As the boy grows, so do his needs and the tree continues to provide. Until one day when there is nothing left of the tree but a stump.

Many years later the boy returns an old man and the tree sadly says, “I’m sorry boy, but I have nothing left to give.”

The boy replies, “I am old and do not need much, just a quiet place to sit and rest.”

The tree invites the boy to sit on its stump, the boy obliges and the tree is very happy.

So what is the message in this story?

  • Its better to give than to receive?
  • As humans we take from nature until there is nothing left?
  • That childhood is a happy time compared to the sacrifices and responsibilities of adulthood?
  • Is the relationship between the tree and the boy similar to a relationship between a parent and child?

This book will definitely give both you and your children something to think about. (Pin it!)

The perfect number ten?


Its already 1:30 in the afternoon and I’m sitting here at my Mac, trying to write my tenth blog entry. Both the dryer and dishwasher are finished and now annoyingly peeping away. The dogs are lying by the door, still waiting for their morning walk. I haven’t taken anything out for dinner, my grandchildren are coming by later and I promised to make brownies. Oh yeah, and I’ve had five cups of tea, and I’m still in my pajamas!

I’ve always been a control freak and the thing I controlled most was my house. A place for everything and everything in its place. That was my motto. Well, things have changed.

I am now trying to write a blog, which I’m finding to be a very new and exciting challenge. I’ve made oh so many mistakes, which I will not point out in hopes that you haven’t noticed. Along with this, I’m constantly on the look out for something to tweet and have become hooked on Pinterest (its like shopping without spending any money). I dedicate hours to all my friends on Facebook and I’m trying to find people to review my book. Hint, hint…

The best and most surprising part of my new adventure is the ‘other’ blogs I’ve discovered. You see, not only am I a first time blogger, its also the first time I’ve read any blogs. In the past few months I’ve literally combed through hundreds of blogs before clicking the follow button on sixteen of them. I’d love to follow more, but as you can see I’m pressed for time.

Instead of giving out the names of these blogs, I thought I would tell a little about them and hopefully you’ll understand why they have come to mean so much to me. Maybe you’ll even recognize yours:

  • A father telling his childhood stories to his children, and we’re lucky enough to listen.
  • A sweet twenty-something working through depression and trying to change her life around.
  • A fellow tea lover who’s gearing herself up to chase a dream.
  • A poet sharing her sadness, yet finding the good in everything.
  • A blogger on the threshold of forty and coming to terms with personal purposes.
  • A former expat wife sharing her expat/repat experiences.
  • An old classmate of mine sharing beautiful pictures and craft ideas.
  • A fashion savvy Norwegian living in London.
  • A feisty woman blogging about life, love and the occasional shitty day.
  • A life from a writers point of view.
  • A grown up TCK (third culture kid).
  • An expat writer who also happens to be a white muslim living in a post 9/11 world.
  • A multitasking Californian who’s into everything.
  • A blog about living overseas, away from families and beyond comfort zones.
  • A young American married to a Norwegian and starting a new life in Norway.
  • The adventures of an American family living in Norway.

I love true stories about real people. Thats why I now rush to my Mac every morning eager to check my inbox. If anyone’s curious to find the name of one of these blogs, just ask…