Our Giving Tree

Two Thanksgiving's ago, we put up a tire swing in the back of our property. It was a challenge to put it up, as the tree was very tall, and there were not a lot of ways to actually reach the overhanging branch to tie the rope. After days of trying and a uncle skilled in climbing trees, the tire swing found it's home. We enjoyed hours that weekend swinging on it. There really it no funner thing as a child than soaring high in the air with the wind blowing on your face as you glide back and forth. Some of my favorite pictures I have are of our  kids swinging on that swing. Faces with nothing but smiles of pure joy on them.
The neighborhood kids soon discovered the newest toy at the Starbuck household, and before we knew it there were daily requests for Aaron to push kids on the tire swing. It was fun for everyone. When we cleared out our backyard last summer, fenced in the yard, and grassed our meadow, it provided a clear path back to our  favorite tree. It was behind the fence, but I could now see it from the house and keep an eye on all my daring swingers. It became used even more frequently, and the kids were getting the hang of pushing each other high on it.
A couple weeks ago we had a bad rain storm. The kind where the thunder shakes the house, and lighting lights up the sky. As we tucked the kids into bed, and climbed into bed ourselves, we were lulled to sleep by huge claps of thunder. Morning came and the rain had stopped, and thoughts of the night before were all but forgotten. The next day we were inside after school and it  started pouring rain again. As I looked out back, I noticed something behind the fence. I couldn't place what in the world it was.
My curiosity was too much.  I grabbed the umbrella and ran into the backyard to check it out. As I approached our tire swing tree, I almost died of shock. Our huge tree had been struck by lightening and had fallen over the creek, taking many trees with it. This tree is huge. It takes Aaron and one of the kids holding hands to be able to circle their arms around it. I am not good with distances, but suffice it to say it way very, very tall. One  of the tallest trees in our yard.
As we saw the aftermath, we soon realized how tragic it would have been if the tree had fallen the other direction-towards the fence and house. It would have surely caused a domino effect, and taken down many more trees into our yard. Our daily prayers of safety do not go unheard-of that I am sure.
As for the tire swing? Well, unfortunately another chapter in our life of living in this home is closed. We have the fun memories, and now plans of building a bigger and better one someday at another house.
Good-bye tire swing tree.
You have been the giving tree for our kids

                                 ...and we have been happy!

 Erika drawing of tire swing

Erika’s picture of our tire swing

tree side view blog

tree blog      lightening tree blog     tree base blog

 other tree broke blog     tree over creek blog      tire swing blog


She who must be obeyed! said...

Holy Cow!

Dre + Drew - Southern Living - Georgia said...

That is amazing, you have had quite the experiences with the weather and your yard, you are being watched out for! Cannot wait to see the other tire swing. They are so fun!

Lisa said...

That is crazy!! You guys and your yard! What a dangerous place to live... why don't you move.