The day we almost frightened our mother to death started out very much like today, a morning with a sparkling sky, so blue that it looked like it had just been painted and left to dry. I’ll always remember it as the day Dad’s hammer disappeared. It was his new hammer, the red-headed one that reminded me of the woodpeckers who lived in our pine tree.
“You play in the yard today,” Mother said to my brother and me. “I don’t want to go searching for you if I need you.” She was nine months pregnant with my sister, Karen, and who knew when she would need to rush to the hospital. My sister was past due and Mother didn’t like to be alone while she was waiting for her to make her appearance. My brother and I had spent the entire month of June playing in our yard while our friends were at the beach.
That particular day we had run out of things to amuse ourselves, and that’s what got us into trouble. Actually, it was my brother who got us into trouble while I stood by and watched. I was afraid to try new adventures, especially if they held an element of danger. My brother, on the other hand, was fearless.
“How about building a tree house?” my brother suggested. “I’ve always wanted one.”
“But I don’t know how to build anything and I can’t climb trees,” I protested.
“I’ll do the building, and I’ll even make you a rope ladder to climb up with. All you have to do is watch and keep me company.”
I was good at watching. It’s what I liked to do best when I was with my brother. Besides, where else was I going to go? So I watched. I watched him survey all the trees in the yard until he decided on the pine tree in the back corner. I watched him go into the garage and emerge with Dad’s red-headed hammer, a handful of nails, and one sturdy board. I watched him start to climb the tree, and half an hour later, I watched him finally make it to the top.
Before I go any further, I should tell you something about this tree. It was the tallest tree in our yard, towering over the largest maple. In fact, I’m sure it was the tallest tree in our neighborhood. That is why it took my brother so long to get to the top.
“Hey, Susan, I can see the ocean from here!” my brother called. The top of the tree began to sway under his weight as he shouted excitedly.
“Are there any whitecaps?” I yelled back, longing to be at the beach. It never occurred to me that my brother was in danger at the top of that old pine tree, clinging to the thin trunk as it swayed back and forth.
“No, no white caps. It’s low tide because I can just make out the sand bar.”
Mother had been in the kitchen washing the breakfast dishes and singing. The singing abruptly stopped when she heard my brother’s hollering. His voice seemed so far away. And how could he possibly see the ocean when our house was half a mile away?
“Where’s Mark?” Mother asked as she waddled out to the yard.
“He’s in the pine tree,” I said.
Mother searched the tree, shading her eyes with her hand. “I don’t see him.”
“He’s that little dot way up there at the top.” I pointed.
“Mark, you come down this instant!” Mother said, grabbing her bulging stomach, her voice rising in panic.
Our neighbor, Mr. Benson, came running over. “Don’t yell at the boy. You’ll only make him nervous,” he said. “Mark, you come down slowly. Take your time, you hear?”
Half an hour later Mark was standing back on Earth, empty-handed, my mother’s arms around him, first shaking him, then squeezing him, then back to shaking him again. My brother and I didn’t mention the tree-house project, so Dad never connected it with the disappearance of his hammer, a mystery that perplexed him for years after that. That was fifty-five years ago, but, unless someone has made it to the top of that old pine tree, there should still be one red-headed hammer up there, waiting for a boy to build a tree house.
I love childhood nostalgia pieces … you may have inspired me to do one soon. Your brother reminds me of a certain child actor, but as my wife and son would point out, I don’t know any actor’s names.
I think I forgot to tell you I finally took your challenge. I’m glad you discovered it! Thanks, Bud. I enjoyed looking through my old posts.
This is my favorite post of yours, because it’s how I found you…
I think it’s my favorite post because it was through this that I finally made some true blue bloggy friends like you!
I remember this blog. I think it was the very first one of yours I read, or close to the first one. Nicely done.
Thanks, Dawn. That actually was the turning point in my blog. Many people saw that and stayed to see more. Glad you were one of them!
I love family stories, just like this one. I look forward to reading more.
This so much reminds me of my brother and his friend who lived behind us. They built a tree house with the help of his dad and all the neighbor kids, boys and girls climbed up to enjoy it.
My dad was an engineer. Had my brother waited and asked my dad to help us, I’m sure we would have had a beautiful treehouse. Thanks, Georgette.
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Thanks for a great story to share.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
What a great story!
Thanks! My brother supplies a lot of fodder for my posts.
Great post! Thank you for sharing!!!
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!
I was expecting a bad outcome to your story and was glad that he didn’t fall out of the tree. Me and my brother and next door neighbours built many tree forts (as we called them) and I was the only one that ever got hurt. I broke a rung f our make shift ladder with my foot and then my knee broke two more rungs. I had to get 7 stitches and couldn’t bend my knee for over a week. I was 13 at the time and was teased and mocked by all the cute boys on school. I still have the scar.
You are a very good story teller. I felt like I was you, your brother and mother all through the tale. Well done.
What a nice complement! Thank you! I think those boys should have admired you for getting right in there with them instead of mocking you.
Haha great story, very well told!! I have an older brother too, but he was such a goody-two-shoes 😦 Oh, except for the time he convinced me to climb on this freaking huge rock with him, then fell off and sprained his ankle.
At least you weren’t the one who broke her ankle! Thanks for the comment.
That comment made my day! Thank you.
Just saying you are a beautiful writer.
Just saying a big thank you!
This post made me think of when my brother and I were younger and constantly getting in trouble (all his fault) including the time we thought it would be a great idea to crack open black walnuts using a large log. (my cousin’s finger will never be the same) Thanks so much for sharing your story and letting me indulge in some nostalgia! Congrats on being FP! Well deserved!
Sounds like you have your own stories to tell! Thanks for commenting.
I loved the story and the photo and how you narrated it. By the way, this post came out in FP today. 🙂
I know; my daughter had to tell me because I hadn’t looked at Freshly Pressed that morning. Thanks, Yen!
Endearing story! As a child, I always wanted a big brother. I envisioned he’d be my protector while we went on exciting adventures. Instead I had two older sisters who weren’t very adventuresome. They just got angry with me when I got into their stuff. 😀
Rotten sisters! But brothers can be quite mean to little sisters, too. My brother still calls me Schnorklepuss when he calls.
Thanks for commenting!
“That was fifty-five years ago, but, unless someone has made it to the top of that old pine tree, there should still be one red-headed hammer up there, waiting for a boy to build a tree house.”
That genuinely made me laugh.
That makes me happy! Thanks for your comment.
55years?? you have a brilliant memory, the way u remember all the minute details… It sure did seem like a good idea 🙂 …. I wonder what happened to that hammer… did u guys ever tell ur dad?
Some things are still so vivid in my memory, they amaze me. No, we never did tell my dad!
(Eeek, sorry for duplication. Having a bit of a senior moment clearly! Either URL will do.)
What a lovely, well-written post. As a kid I wanted a tree house, but seeing as the only tree in the front yard was a short well-loved mango tree and the backyard was barren, that dream went up in smoke. I still carried some hope in me until we moved to an apartment. I’ve been living in apartments ever since. Oh well. Maybe the next generation. 😉
Again, beautiful post and congratz on being Freshly Pressed.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
I’d have climbed back up there and got that new hammer
Of course you would—you’re a boy!
Unlelss…there’s a strong wind. Then you might get clobbered standing under that tree!
Surely the wind knocked it down sometime after we moved away, but you never know…
really good 😀
I LIKE IT
Thank you so much for commenting.
What a beautifully written story. With a big brother of my own, I can completely agree that any trouble we got into was All His Fault. 😉 I’m so glad that you were Freshly Pressed and that I found your blog. (Even if the FP experience can be a little surreal for the writer!) Congratulations.
Do you think your brother would admit to that? LOL! Thanks so much for your comment. Do you have a blog of your own? What is the URL?
Thanks for asking! You can find me at http://dancingbeastie.wordpress.com .
Of the few times I wish I had siblings, reading this post by you was one! Lovely narration, right till the end…
Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Thanks so much, C.S.
I found accidentally your site. Yours is a very interesting story, while I was reading it I imagined the scene like a movie.. 🙂 I think that remember it today gives a little more worryng memory.. as you said. Very funny and sweet your conclusion with the one red-headed hammer waiting for a boy to build a tree house.. Bye.
Ivana from Italy.
Thank you, Ivana! Loved to hear from someone so far away, and yet this connection made you seem so close.
Hahaha! I have 4 brothers and this reminds me of their bright ideas.
Our house is far off the city and surrounded by lots and lots of trees. I still have scars from all the climbing we did.
Good for you for getting in there with them instead of hanging back like I always did, enjoying life’s adventures vicariously! Glad to have brought back some memories for you.
mmm, DIY tree house project 🙂
Fun but care for safety.
I wonder how many other kids can show their scars from similar projects! Thanks for visiting and commenting.
“childhood” the most beautiful part of our lives…………….thanx 4 sharing yours with all of us………may be i’ll share mine too this weekend……………..your ‘about me’ section was a reflection of yours i like that 🙂
I’m looking forward to reading about a part of your life. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
What a fantastic story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!
And thank you so much for reading it and taking the time to comment.
“childhood” the most beautiful part of our lives…………….thanx 4 sharing yours with all of us………may be i’ll share mine too this weekend…………….. 🙂
Thanks so much.
Great story and story-telling! The latter is an art you have mastered. This story also brought up memories of two nephews who did something comparable with the tallest tree in the area when they were about 5 & 6. I stood looking up not knowing what to do other than worry. They too survived!
I can just imagine how your heart must have been in your throat! Thanks for your comment. It is much appreciated.
Nice storytelling – thanks for sharing this with us!
And thank you for taking the time to comment.
Okay too funny! I just saw this on Freshly Pressed and was like, “Hey, I know her and I read that post last week!” Congrats on being featured today!
Thanks, Leah! I love that blogging builds connections like that.
Wow, that was a very entertaining story. Makes me wish I grew up with siblings to build tree houses with.
I also love the photo at the end.
I’m lucky that my dad loved photography when we were little, and I have many old photos like that. Helps preserve the past.
You might not be here to say that if you had!
Cute story! So, you guys never went back to finish (or start on) the tree-building project? I think it would have been a lot of fun (and memorable too).
That tree was off-limits from that day forward!
Aww… Too bad!
Yes, parents have a habit of squashing good, clean fun!
Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. I think all older kids tend to get their siblings into trouble …not just older brothers 🙂
Thanks, F.C. My sister was nearly eight years younger, so I never got her into trouble because she grew up as nearly an only child. Plus, I was a goody-two-shoes. How boring!
very cute loved reading your post.
Thanks so much for your comment.
loved you post. Very cute!
This story reminded me of my monkey brother, many years ago. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories, and congratulations on Freshly Pressed.
Thanks, Kay! I’m glad this triggered memories for you.
Haha! I always watched my brother do fun stuff I thought I couldn’t (or shouldn’t!). Great blog!
So you led a boring younger life, too, just like me? LOL! Thanks for your comment.
Cute story! And I love the fact that your dad still doesn’t know what happened to his red-headed hammer, very funny!!
We didn’t want to add insult to injury!
What a lovely story!
What a beautiful photo! A simple tale well told. Have you ever climbed a tree? It’s wonderful. I spent my whole childhood climbing to the top of frightening trees to prove to the boys that girls are better. That’s what you get with a feminist mother!!!
Thanks for sharing and congrats on Freshly Pressed.
Good for you! I was a wimp! I think I climbed to the lowest branch of one of our maple trees once, but that was it.
Cute story! I had a magnolia tree I loved to climb as a child. I’d get at 40-50 feet high and would sit up there and look around. It had a ton of branches so it was pretty easy to climb… so no accidents and my parents didn’t seem to mind.
Magnolia trees are great for climbing because their branches are so dense. There weren’t any magnolia’s in Connecticut, though, and I was a wimp, so even if there were, I wouldn’t have stayed on the ground. You were indeed a brave little creature!
I’m new to WordPress and I’m trying to write good stories like this myself. This is really good! I don’t know if I’ll ever be this good at writing. But if you have time, I’d really appreciate any feedback on a story I just posted.
Again, I really love this post! It is amazingly written. 😀
What a kind comment! Thank you! I would love to read your post and give you feedback. Give me a little time to get caught up, and I’ll take a look.
I loved this story. it reminded me of the time i climbed to the top of a pine tree when i was younger. touching story!
Can you visit my blog too and leave a comment?
Absolutely! Thank you!
These are the kinds of stories you can tell your kids. :)) Can’t wait to share my stories with mine in 15 years. 🙂 Great story and lovely photo. 🙂
Finally! Congratulations on being FP’d. Great story and glad to see it out there today. You deserve it. If your dad is still around, at least now he knows where his hammer is!
Ha! My father has been gone for six years. Our secret is safe! Thanks for your comment, HG.
You were lucky that Karen didn’t make an early entrance. 🙂
(Your story made me smile, and I don’t think the emote expresses a smile as well as frankness. <3)
I think if we had caused my mom to go into labor, we would have been in BIG trouble! Thanks for your comment.
You were the inspiration! What a great brother!
“Actually, it was my brother who got us into trouble while I stood by and watched.”
Big brothers everywhere find that line a bit specious.
Lovely story, though!
Obviously, you are a big brother. Thanks for commenting!
Congrats, CE! And I’ can’t wait to read your next chapter! Love your touching stories.
Thanks so much. And thanks for sticking with me!
What a great story. Your fearless brother reminds me of my own brother who never turned away from an adventure. Thanks for posting.
Is your brother still a daredevil? I’m glad my post brought back memories.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Wonderfully told story! Thanks Mucho!
Gracias for your comment!
Great story!!!! How fun to grow up by the ocean. 🙂 I wonder why a storm never blew it out of the tree? LOL It’s a wonder it did not put your Mom into labor when she saw him!
We haven’t lived in that house since 1959, so it would be miraculous if that hammer didn’t fall in a storm. But you never know…
Finally! Congratulations on being FP’d. Great story and glad to see it out there today. You deserve it.
Thanks so much! Now I promise to quit whining.
Loved this. Sharing it with my mom whose brother was always getting into trouble, too. I hope you keep posting!
Glad this connected with you. Hope your mother enjoys!
Loved the story! I have two boys like this, and they did something a little similar when I was pregnant with their little sister, that ended up in a trip to the Hospital and a broken collar bone for the younger one!! Definately sympathize with your Mother!! My youngest Son is the daredevil, and tree climber. When he was 3 he stacked a riding car toy and other large objects against the truck of our huge Oak tree and climbed up to a section that would hold him like a fort, yet on his 3rd try – to show me he could do it, He fell! However he jumped up immeadiately saying “I’m OK- I’m Ok!! After that my Husband and I nailed little boards across the Trunk and attached a knotted rope, so he could climb up the tree trunk. Made us feel better.
Great idea! You weren’t going to stop him, so why not make it safer? Thanks for commenting.
Well done! This was a simple sketch with a sort of nostalgic feel, which is what really drew me in. Starting off with telling us what we’re building toward was a useful hook. The perplexity of the hammer there at the end is funny too. This was a pleasant read!
Your comment tells me you are an experienced writer, it was so detailed. I’m looking forward to discovering you as a writer, too. Thanks, Marisa.
That’s hilarious that the hammer is still up there. Great story! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
I think there’s two components here as to why this entry is SO amazing: The memory itself (of course) and the way you pieced it all together. The story felt like a gentle puzzle that each reader could put together. I felt a great sense of relief that your brother made it down from the tree safe, as well as the aching anxiety your mother must have felt seeing him up there, despite the fact that I don’t actually know what it’s like to be a mother.
Thank you for sharing your happiness with the world.
Wow! Thank you so much for your gracious comments. I don’t think you have to be a mother to sympathize with those kind of emotional feelings. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.
Oh what a great story.
I love how you and your brother the tree climber kept talking while he climbed. I can see the ocean, I can see the beach! It’s just so sweet. The pregnant mother torn between shaking the boy and hugging him. Who can’t relate to that? The neighbor in his wisdom telling her not to yell at the boy but to coax him down gently.
It’s just the perfect summer story.
Thank you so much for reading my story and taking the time to comment. That memory just seemed so vivid the day I wrote about it because it was also in June on a beautiful clear day. My brother continued to be a daredevil, even in his adult life. By the way, he’s still alive! LOL!
Amazing story, thanks!
So nice of you to take the time to comment. Thanks a bunch!
I enjoyed this story when I first read it and upon rereading it I like it even more. A great memoir; congratulations on being Fresh Pressed.
Thanks, Bill. You know how much that means to me, coming from you. I appreciate your taking the time to comment—again!
great story, just felt that ending was sudden. I wanted to read more abt it ended ! Gud one.
Thanks, Avi. I would love to have stretched it out more, but I thought I might have lost some of my readers! Thanks for your comment.
this is a good story i broke many bones climbing trees.haha. so did my brother. nice one:)
And you lived to tell your own story! Thanks for commenting.
This is such a beautiful story and so well told. I came across you on Freshly Pressed and am having a little nostalgic cry – absolutely wonderful!
Wow! I made you cry? I was supposed to make you laugh! What did I do wrong? I’m looking forward to reading your blog as well.
CONGRATULATIONS! I am so excited to finally see you on Freshly Pressed.
And for more than 60 seconds! Now I promise to quit whining.
Never climbed higher than ten feet in a tree and I’m starting to think I’ve missed out on a lot of life. Great story; you have such a fresh way of bringing a reader into your life. Thank you for this post.
My writing blog: http://shelleddreams.wordpress.com/
Great post, I’m looking forward to more.
And I’m looking forward to reading your blog as well! Thank you for your comment.
I’ve always wanted to have a tree house too! But I never had one, so I guess I will fulfil that dream when I’m older and have my own house and kids 😀
BTW, what a beautiful photo!
Thank you! When my niece (my brother’s daughter) read this post, she asked her dad why he never built her a treehouse. Good question!
so funny and beautiful!!! 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog as well.
Oh, wow! Any idea how much further up that hammer is now? Pine trees grow so much in 55 years!
Oh wow! Any guesses on how MUCH further up that hammer is? Pine trees grow so much in 55 years!
LOL! It probably fell to the ground long ago, but since we moved away, we will never know.
Ah, that takes me back a bit….. Not to doing things with my brother as I’m an only child but to the memories of all those things I used to get up to that my parents never knew about:
Swinging from tree rope swing from the tallest tree on the bank of the river. climbing down the sewer pipe exit near the stream at the bottom of the street and following it all the way back and under the road to the manhole cover and playing Spiderman with the local boys on top of the local mop factory roof, which was accessed by climbing up the fire escape ladders! Oh, and did I mention setting fire to the girls toilet block in school???
Brothers, who needs ’em?
Why, you little daredevil! Some things are better for parents not to know about! Thanks for commenting.
Really enjoyed reading your story!! I could imagine the whole thing!
Thanks so much!
Excellent story! I can see your mom’s bursting belly and the little speck of your brother up in the tree. Your voice is delightful. I’m glad to have found you and I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.
Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m looking forward to reading your blog as well. Isn’t blogging wonderful!
Wonderful writing! I especially love your imagery of “a sparkling sky, so blue that it looked like it had just been painted and left to dry.”
Thank you, Juliann. I’m looking forward to visiting your blog.
This is STELLAR. I love stories like this, they are truly amazing. My “Brother” and I got up to hijinks like this and reading this spurred me to pick up the phone and give him a call. Bravo!
Wow! How wonderful that my anecdote made you call your brother! The power of words…
This story is so adorable. 🙂 I love reminiscing childhood memories.
I do, too, but I just can’t seem to remember as many any more. Or sometimes I remember them whether they happened or not! Thanks for commenting.
this is such a cute post and such a cute piccie. thanks for sharing. (ssshhhh don’t tell papa)
LOL! “Papa” is long gone. The secret is safe!
Love this line: Mark was standing back on Earth. Good writing is good thinking. Great story 🙂 So … the winds of time never brought the hammer back on earth?
I bet the hammer fell down in a storm, but since we moved away and I’ll never know its fate, I prefer to picture it still up at the top of that tree. Thanks for your comment.
great story! thanks for sharing
And thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
I’m glad your brother made it down safe. That was a suspenseful story!
He continued to be a daredevil and became a Green Beret during the Viet Nam war. He jumped out of airplanes then!
Nicely done. Great job.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.
Beautiful! I wonder where that hammer is now?
I have to believe it fell out of the tree in a storm one day. Never heard a story of someone getting killed by a falling hammer in their back yard, so if it did fall, at least we weren’t responsible for someone’s death! Of course, it could still be there.
Reading you story gave me the chills. Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!
What a great comment! Thanks, Ariana!
This is really a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing and the picture is priceless. Congrats on Freshly Pressed, well deserved.
Thanks so much, Jennifer.
What a wonderful story! A boy and a tree———- Thanks for sharing this lovely narrative!
Thanks, Kathy! Yes, boys and trees seem to go together, don’t they?
Delightful story and such a fun treat to read!
perfect story…..praying that my boys are making similar memories on a daily basis!
that is a lovely story. I haven’t told my parents half of the shennanigans myself and my siblings have gotten up to behind their backs.
I’m glad the hammer didn’t fall back down!
Well done on being freshly pressed!
It’s probably just as well your parents don’t know!
You are a great story teller….you should write a book….think about it.
Blogging is one thing; writing a book is another! Thanks for your confidence in me, though. Made my day!
You write extremely well – really enjoyed it. Thanks
That was a cute and great story of you and your brother!!! :0)
What a great story! And you told it in such an effortless manner. I may have to read some of your other posts!
I would love to have you read more. Take a look at my favorites. I’m looking forward to discovering new blogs as I explore the ones from all those people who commented today. Thanks for taking the time.
What lovely storytelling abilities you have! Your poor mother, though…mothers are amazing people, aren’t they? I mean, to put up with some of the stuff we put them through as children. lol.
Fantastic post and Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
Thank you so much for your comments. My children were kind enough to keep their antics hidden, so I never knew all the dangerous things they did until they were grown. They saved me years of suffering!
Well would you look at that! You are Freshly Pressed! Well deserved, I might add!
Thanks so much for sticking with me, even when I whined about not being Freshly Pressed! And thanks for your kind words.
This was a charming and well written story — and I can just see the panic in your poor mother’s eyes! It takes me back to “adventures” with my 2 brothers & 2 sisters … many of which didn’t end as we’d planned. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!
Thanks so much for your comment. I think most of us have these stories to tell, don’t we!
This is so poignant — love the image of your brother scampering up a pine tree. AWESOME!
Isn’t it funny that we see things so differently when we’re older. My brother and I never thought about the danger he was in, and if my kids had ever pulled a stunt like that, I would have fainted dead away! Thanks so much for your comment.
What a wonderful post! I love the way you tell the story and I now want to go see if the hammer is still in that tree. What a gift to be able to carry such a memory around in your heart all this time. : )
Your comment nearly made me cry because I never thought of this memory as a gift, but that is surely what it is and others like it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.
Lovely story…I enjoyed it very much. My boys were dare-devil types and gave me plenty of scares. I like to blame my premature gray on them. We didn’t climb trees so much, we lived on a farm and had barns, sheds, other hiding spots. Thanks for sharing this memory.
Thank you for commenting. Our boys didn’t seem to be daredevils, but I think we just didn’t know what they were up to when they were younger. Sometimes it’s a blessing not to know!
What an enjoyable story and post. Stories about random days and the adventures that they hold tend to give me the most joy when reading. Congrats on FP as well!
Thanks a bunch! My brother has generated a lot of stories for me to tell over the years.
Another great post and photo. PS. You made it! 🙂
My daughter actually called me to tell me I made it. Yea! Thanks a bunch for sticking with me!
Papa would have loved your blog. And that picture is precious.
Oh, that wouldn’t do. Then he’d know what happened to his hammer!
You know how I love stories and this is a really good one. Thank you for a great posting.
High compliment from a master storyteller! Thanks, Bill!
Wonderful storytelling. 🙂
I am reminded that it has been a LONG time since I last climbed a tree.
I think I might have climbed to the lowest branch of one of our maple trees one time with the help of a ladder, but heights always terrified me. Thanks for your comment.
And I’m the crazy brother that (use to) climb trees and jump out of airplanes and helicopters. And I love being fodder for my sister!
Wow! You actually posted a comment! Now, that’s being a daredevil—for you!
Great storytelling. Brothers are good fodder for good stories I think! Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. My brother reads my blog and he loves that he’s featured in so many of them.
My brother used to go really high into the trees as well. Loved this post.
And I have acrophobia! Thanks for taking the time to comment.
I wonder if the hammer ever blew down or fell on its own accord.
I can’t imagine that it didn’t, but you never know! I just love picturing it still up there.
Oh my goodness. I’m glad your dare-devil brohter made it down okay. What an fun and scary memory.
Funny how it never seemed scary to us at the time. We were just two dumb little kids.
Congratulations on being Freshly-Pressed! You deserve it for your wonderful blog of stories and thoughts. 🙂
Thank you! I’ll stop whining now.
What a beautiful and well-written story. This was my favorite sentence: “It was his new hammer, the red-headed one that reminded me of the woodpeckers who lived in our pine tree.”
By the way, I used to live in Fairfield, too. I wonder if we were neighbors.
Small world! I’m probably considerably older than you, so we most likely didn’t go to school together. We lived in Fairfield from 1953 until 1972, first near Fairfield Beach and then near Sasco. Went to Roger Ludlow High School. Thanks for your nice comment about my writing. It always means so much when it comes from a talented writer like yourself!
So lovely and so well written:
I love this line: “He’s that little dot way up there at the top.” I pointed.
And the ending, the way everything comes together is so nice. In my mind’s eye, I can see that red hammer sitting at the top of that tree. I’m so glad I read this today.
Thank you, Kelly. I keep picturing that day, it is still so vivid in my mind, and I have to laugh at how totally clueless we were at that age!
Wow once a daredevil always a daredevil huh? I loved your story, and I love the fact that the red headed hammer is still way up in that tree! Hilarious!
We drive through that old neighborhood every time we go back to Fairfield, Connecticut, where I grew up, and that tree doesn’t look nearly as tall as I thought it was.
Things that looked huge to us as children rarely live up to our memory when we see them as adults. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Thanks so much. And I know what you mean. I used to think I had a huge bedroom when I was growing up. I returned to that house once when I was older and found it was fairly tiny. Why did it shrink?
Beautiful memoir! I love the comment reply about what your brother ended up doing — true to his passions, how wonderful! This reminded me of the daredevil things my two kids have done over the years….and I definitely know that being a mom of a daredevil is not NEARLY as much fun as doing daredevil things!
I don’t think I would have survived being the mother of kids like that. Of course, I have no idea what my kids did that they never told me! Thanks, Julia.
This is a very nice story. Lovely narration. I had a brother like that, well, still have, now he climbs rocks in the same fashion.
My brother and I have lived far away from each other since the late seventies and now live only two hours away. It’s so nice to have him so close after all these years. Is your brother older than you? Were you close growing up?
And, dang! I keep clicking on your gingerclub blog and forgetting that it’s all in German!
what a wonderful compilation of a beautiful memory!!
Thank you, Sarah. Oh, the stories I can tell about my brother…
would love to read 🙂
Loved it. Your poor mother! My son is a daredevil type too and never fails to make me age a few years with his antics. We don’t have any big trees in our yard, thank goodness!
I am still pretty wimpy. My brother became a Green Beret and jumped out of airplanes during the Viet Nam war. Then he became curator of mammals at the San Diego Zoo and actually went into jungles and jumped off of snowmobiles in Canada’s Northwest Territories to capture animals for the zoo. Fits his profile, doesn’t it!