"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in" - Greek proverb

Today is Labor Day. I took an early morning walk. It still is technically summer, yet I see the beginnings of fall. I noticed again how many trees have been lost to the terrible Ash borer disease that has swept across the upper Midwest. Straight, tall, magnificent but now barren of leaves. A very real tragedy.

The saying "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in", is a favorite of mine. It came to me again. I live in a small town that is now considered a distant suburb of Chicago. Founded about 150 years ago it was originally a small grouping of homes with a tiny station on the railroad which linked the farms of mainly German immigrants to Chicago. Those same immigrants whose names are now seen on street signs and on the gravestones of the old town cemetery. Those same immigrants who may have planted those Ash trees whose time has come and gone. The Ash trees that shaded me and my children the 40 years I have lived in this town. This beautiful little town who owes much to the foresight of its immigrant founders.

What "trees" did my own ancestors plant? Those "trees" are the choices and sacrifices they made that has directly impacted the life I am now living, the life my children and grandchildren are living. I have been to Sweden and Norway, my ancestral homes, and I do find them beautiful and worthy of praise but I am an American. There is no honor greater than that. I started out my blog with the question "Why, why grandma did you decide to come to America?" I continue to search for the "why" but I don't ever want to forget to say "Thank you".

Let's go and plant some trees.


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