Lyn has been in Colorado for a couple of weeks, and I have been the lone human in the house. That triggered some memories of when my folks went on a vacation and allowed me to stay home alone.
During that period of time we operated the Sunoco service station on Madison Avenue. The first time that I was in charge, one of the large underground fuel tanks cracked and water got mixed with the gasoline. We had to repair several customers’ cars.
On another occasion when I was alone for a few days, I thought hosting a small party would be a good idea. I contacted a couple of my girlfriends so they could help me plan a party on short notice. I think we invited six couples.
Some of the yard needed mowing, and one of the gals stepped up and volunteered. I got out our riding mower and showed her how to use it before returning to the house to get some other stuff done.
The mowing sounded like it was going well until I heard the mower make a deep growl a couple of times before returning to its normal sound. I rushed to the window to see a small tree, which my dad had planted about two months ago, scattered all over the yard. I rushed out and flagged my helper to a stop. She informed me that in a panic she forgot how to stop the mower.
As I recall, the rest of the evening went fairly well. I salvaged a small branch of the tree and took it to several stores the next day to see if I could replace it. I was told that that type of tree should not be planted in the middle of summer. I was stuck.
When my folks returned from their trip, I was home waiting. I had planned on telling Dad when he was in a good mood, but I didn’t have the chance. He walked in the front door, strolled through the house and looked out the picture window to the back yard.
Before saying anything like “Hello” or “How are you doing?” he yelled, “What happened to my tree?” I quickly started explaining how I was so overloaded with chores that I asked a friend for some help, and my friend hit the tree with the mower.
I told him that I had tried to find a replacement. When I mentioned the type that I had looked for, Dad said he was glad I hadn’t planted that kind of tree, for it wasn’t an apple tree – the kind my friend had mowed down.
Dad would have been wondering for years where the apples were.