My unique talent

Our house sits atop a small hill that is covered with sugar maple trees. You know what this means, don’t you?

Sticks. Millions and millions of sticks.

BH is a man of many talents. He can build just about anything, fix most everything else, and run every power tool ever made. He does most of the serious work around here. Me? I can daydream and read real fast. You know what that means, don’t you?

I am the Official Stick Picker-Upper in our family. So that’s what I did today instead of going to the gym.

I have decided that we have shameless, wanton trees who shed their sticks with perverse abandon. I am convinced that all of the other maple groves in the area are inhabited by prim and proper trees who know how to hold on to all their bits in a stiff wind.

42 Replies to “My unique talent”

  1. contest?

    I’m dying to know about this contest you threatened us with a few days ago… (please pity the poor girl who is having a boring day at work)

  2. contest?

    I’m dying to know about this contest you threatened us with a few days ago… (please pity the poor girl who is having a boring day at work)

  3. If that’s the kind of place you live, it’d be a shame if you didn’t have a fireplace or woodburning stove to burn these sticks in. Maple is like most hardwoods– makes a wonderful fire.

  4. If that’s the kind of place you live, it’d be a shame if you didn’t have a fireplace or woodburning stove to burn these sticks in. Maple is like most hardwoods– makes a wonderful fire.

  5. My father is constantly vexed by the pine trees on his property. He gets tired of raking up the pine needles (or, being my dad, he’s tired of paying for someone to do it for them).

    So he wants to chop all these lovely trees (5 or 6 of them) down.

    http://photos1.blogger.com/img/29/943/640/Digital%20Camera%20Pictures%20446.jpg

    How can he want to chop that down? He’s not even planning to live there for that much longer anyway. Grr.

    I hope that you’re not considering such drastic measures.

  6. My father is constantly vexed by the pine trees on his property. He gets tired of raking up the pine needles (or, being my dad, he’s tired of paying for someone to do it for them).

    So he wants to chop all these lovely trees (5 or 6 of them) down.

    http://photos1.blogger.com/img/29/943/640/Digital%20Camera%20Pictures%20446.jpg

    How can he want to chop that down? He’s not even planning to live there for that much longer anyway. Grr.

    I hope that you’re not considering such drastic measures.

  7. We have shameless maples too so I know picking up sticks and raking leaves and straining pools of sticks and leaves, but right now we have snow covering the sticks and leaves and ice covering the pool so I can get to the gym… well if I ever decided to go to the gym.

  8. We have shameless maples too so I know picking up sticks and raking leaves and straining pools of sticks and leaves, but right now we have snow covering the sticks and leaves and ice covering the pool so I can get to the gym… well if I ever decided to go to the gym.

  9. Well, you must earn your title of Mad Woman in the Forest somehow, right? You’re not posturing yourself as Mad Woman on the Treadmill or Mad Woman in the Spin Class. Ah, this maple stick stuff gives you further credence to claim your title. Let us crown you (with maple stick tiara and long maple stick scepter) Mad Woman of the Forest!

  10. Well, you must earn your title of Mad Woman in the Forest somehow, right? You’re not posturing yourself as Mad Woman on the Treadmill or Mad Woman in the Spin Class. Ah, this maple stick stuff gives you further credence to claim your title. Let us crown you (with maple stick tiara and long maple stick scepter) Mad Woman of the Forest!

    1. We have large hunks of rotting tree trunk on the ground that will be a bonfire as soon as we get some snow next week. I’ll try to take pictures.

  11. When i was a kid, i would pick up the seeds the next-door neighbor’s maple would scatter over our driveway – which helped inform my understanding that picking up sticks is a noble pursuit indeed.

    Amazon.com mentions the date “February 2, 2006” for the Prom paperback edition. Do you know what this means? Is it the date the book was published, or the date the book was released, or something else? Is this cause for any sort of celebration (perhaps another opportunity to infiltrate a bestseller list), or have i got things all wrong???
    Thanks; take care.

  12. When i was a kid, i would pick up the seeds the next-door neighbor’s maple would scatter over our driveway – which helped inform my understanding that picking up sticks is a noble pursuit indeed.

    Amazon.com mentions the date “February 2, 2006” for the Prom paperback edition. Do you know what this means? Is it the date the book was published, or the date the book was released, or something else? Is this cause for any sort of celebration (perhaps another opportunity to infiltrate a bestseller list), or have i got things all wrong???
    Thanks; take care.

    1. Dearest readers…. by all means take advantage of the fact that PROM is now available in paperback to buy truckloads of copies and smack it right back on to That Very Nice List.

      It is much more affordable than the hardcover…. and I do like That List.

  13. I have a wanton London Plains tree (some type of maple that is supposed to grow by water) in my front yard that continuously strips off its bark down to bare tree all summer. It’s simply scandalous. 😉

  14. I have a wanton London Plains tree (some type of maple that is supposed to grow by water) in my front yard that continuously strips off its bark down to bare tree all summer. It’s simply scandalous. 😉

  15. maple trees

    So here I am in yearbook class picturing Mrs. Anderson slaving away picking up sticks, and feeling very sorry for her.
    I hope that there’s a strong wind that blows all the sticks into your neighbors yard.
    Don’t work to hard.

    Julia

    p.s. I’m halfway through Fever now…

  16. maple trees

    So here I am in yearbook class picturing Mrs. Anderson slaving away picking up sticks, and feeling very sorry for her.
    I hope that there’s a strong wind that blows all the sticks into your neighbors yard.
    Don’t work to hard.

    Julia

    p.s. I’m halfway through Fever now…

    1. Re: maple trees

      I hope you’re enjoying Fever. If the wind was strong enough to pick up the sticks, it would probably shake more sticks out of the trees, so I’ll stick (ha) to picking them up. The fresh air is good for me.

      1. Re: maple trees

        I just finished Fever… It was great. I escpecially liked the end of the reading guide.. It made me think about it.
        I really should stop reading your books in two days. It ruins it, because I’ve worked up all this anticipation, and it’s always short-lived. But it was well worth it. I loved it.
        You should’ve seen my facial expressions. I was reading it on the way home from school (dangerously walking through a construction site reading a book. It’s my idea of fun) and a friend drove by. She called later to ask if I was alright. She probably passed me when I was reading about Nell almost having to go to the orphanage with all the other children. I kept thinking about how hard it would’ve been for me to not be able to hold every one of them and take them home with me.
        My history teacher is absoutely extatic about your book. She let me borrow it, and kept asking between every period if I thought it was good. Since I’m sick (lost my voice, conveniently enough) I just nod with a big smile and showed her where my bookmark was at.
        The problem with losing my voice is that I usually talk twice as much, leaving my doctor with a frown and my mother frusterated, since she can hardly understand my raspy, whisper-like voice. So all I did all afternoon after school was read Fever.

        Well, another thumbs up for you. It made history 89 percent more interesting, as opposed to my first 12 percent interest level.

        Have fun with the fresh air. I was bummed, because over here it didn’t snow a lot. And when it did, it melted within the afternoon. But good news! The groundhog said yesterday that there will be six more weeks of winter. Six more weeks of chances for it to snow.

        Take Care.

        Julia J.

        Julia

        1. Re: maple trees

          Yeah, I always read her books in like a day or two. It’s like one of those things that you get really excited over and then it’s over so quickly…like Gilmore Girls…it should last more than an hour.
          Right now we’re reading To Kill A Mockingbird. I’m trying not to read ahead because she gives a a worksheet after every other chapter, and I don’t want to get confused. But the other day when we took a yearbook field trip (We got a new, very heavy, shiny, and expensive camera, and we learned photography tips!!! Yay!) I got so bored that I had to do something! So I read to chapter eight – while everyone else is at chapter five. Oh well. I wanna find out what happenes. It sounds like a good book.
          I love when my voice is hoarse! It’s so fun!
          No snow’s sticking here either. 🙁 Hey, the froundhog here saw his shadow – when the sun wasn’t even up yet! And I thought of this question in geometry class last year, but no one’s been able to answer it yet: What do we do if the groundhog’s blind?

  17. We have large hunks of rotting tree trunk on the ground that will be a bonfire as soon as we get some snow next week. I’ll try to take pictures.

  18. Dearest readers…. by all means take advantage of the fact that PROM is now available in paperback to buy truckloads of copies and smack it right back on to That Very Nice List.

    It is much more affordable than the hardcover…. and I do like That List.

  19. Re: maple trees

    I hope you’re enjoying Fever. If the wind was strong enough to pick up the sticks, it would probably shake more sticks out of the trees, so I’ll stick (ha) to picking them up. The fresh air is good for me.

  20. Re: maple trees

    I just finished Fever… It was great. I escpecially liked the end of the reading guide.. It made me think about it.
    I really should stop reading your books in two days. It ruins it, because I’ve worked up all this anticipation, and it’s always short-lived. But it was well worth it. I loved it.
    You should’ve seen my facial expressions. I was reading it on the way home from school (dangerously walking through a construction site reading a book. It’s my idea of fun) and a friend drove by. She called later to ask if I was alright. She probably passed me when I was reading about Nell almost having to go to the orphanage with all the other children. I kept thinking about how hard it would’ve been for me to not be able to hold every one of them and take them home with me.
    My history teacher is absoutely extatic about your book. She let me borrow it, and kept asking between every period if I thought it was good. Since I’m sick (lost my voice, conveniently enough) I just nod with a big smile and showed her where my bookmark was at.
    The problem with losing my voice is that I usually talk twice as much, leaving my doctor with a frown and my mother frusterated, since she can hardly understand my raspy, whisper-like voice. So all I did all afternoon after school was read Fever.

    Well, another thumbs up for you. It made history 89 percent more interesting, as opposed to my first 12 percent interest level.

    Have fun with the fresh air. I was bummed, because over here it didn’t snow a lot. And when it did, it melted within the afternoon. But good news! The groundhog said yesterday that there will be six more weeks of winter. Six more weeks of chances for it to snow.

    Take Care.

    Julia J.

    Julia

  21. Re: maple trees

    Yeah, I always read her books in like a day or two. It’s like one of those things that you get really excited over and then it’s over so quickly…like Gilmore Girls…it should last more than an hour.
    Right now we’re reading To Kill A Mockingbird. I’m trying not to read ahead because she gives a a worksheet after every other chapter, and I don’t want to get confused. But the other day when we took a yearbook field trip (We got a new, very heavy, shiny, and expensive camera, and we learned photography tips!!! Yay!) I got so bored that I had to do something! So I read to chapter eight – while everyone else is at chapter five. Oh well. I wanna find out what happenes. It sounds like a good book.
    I love when my voice is hoarse! It’s so fun!
    No snow’s sticking here either. 🙁 Hey, the froundhog here saw his shadow – when the sun wasn’t even up yet! And I thought of this question in geometry class last year, but no one’s been able to answer it yet: What do we do if the groundhog’s blind?

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