Tuesday, April 10, 2012

# 243 - White Oak Tree and a Wedding

This past long Easter weekend at our acreage found Deputy Dave and I to be basking beneath the swaying trees of the forest...of "our" forest. Of course, being on our acreage means going nonstop from dawn until dusk, but it is rewarding and deeply satisfying to see the dent that our efforts make to the landscape of our acreage.

First of all, upon arrival to our land, taking the turn onto our private road leading deep into our forested acreage is a moment that always seems to take our breath away. It is always overwhelming to take in the incredible growth that has taken place. It never ceases to amaze me to see our land as majestic as the first time we laid eyes upon it.

The tanged forest of greenery never fails to make a powerfully visible statement about the enduring, sufferable abilities of raw nature.

This trip, we brought along our new 9'x17' tent which was INCREDIBLE! We could actually stand upright inside the tent! Deputy Dave marveled at his ability to stand straight and tall while still having ample room above head to maneuver around! We felt as if this tent were our mobile castle! We had plenty room and the four entrances/exits around the tent made daily chores much easier. We put the bedding at one end and stayed clear of that side during the day to keep the bedding as clean and debris-free as possible, while leaving the food boxes and miscellaneous goods at the other end of the tent with a separate opening, making it neat and convenient.

And the view...ahhhhh...we left a couple of tent flaps open at night so that I could lie there looking up at the shadows of the trees and enjoy the bright moon shining over our tent. Magical.

Deputy Dave purchased a new chainsaw, a long overdue purchase. Farm life is not necessarily cheap. He began to strategically cut a fallen white oak tree into assorted sized slabs that will be used at our oldest daughter's wedding. Heather will use these slabs for such things as a wedding cake stand and for other props to go along with her wedding theme of "City Girl Meets Country Boy."

This was a weekend on our land that had great purpose and cutting those white oak slabs for Heather's wedding was a priority. Her daddy worked like a beast to get choice cuts from a beloved fallen tree for his daughter's wedding. It was hard, laborious work laden with sweat and grime along with a bit of danger, but it was well worth his time.

Starting at the smaller "tip" end of the tree.
You can purchase thin wood slabs on-line, but White Oak tree slabs can be pricey, especially at the thickness her dad was allowing for the cut. We feel strongly that it is important for her wedding memories to be tied to these oak tree slabs because they come from a piece of her own childhood history...cut from a fallen tree on the land where she played while growing up.

Many times she had sat beneath the shade of this particular tree while eating at the picnic table and enjoying forest surroundings with family and friends. For years, this Grand Old White Oak towered above us with impressive secondary branches, and once it fell, the solid root ball itself spread out more than six feet across. The old oak succumbed to hurricane strength winds that reached our acreage during a bad storm.

During our first inspection of the land after that storm, we found ourselves in a moment of gasps and sadness that brought about tears as we drove onto our land, down our private road, only to come across the great fallen grand oak laying on its side, in defeat. It was a shocking find; the tree that we thought would long out-live everyone in the family had come to rest in giant prostrate form across our land. Very sad day indeed.

With her, the oak took out several electrical poles and blocked our private roadway. We decided to re-route that part of the road, which was fortunately at the very end of the our road. No big inconvenience. Letting her lay in peace, we tried to decide what to do with the old tree. We certainly didn't want to chop her up for fire-wood; the purpose had to be more meaningful, so there she remained for a long while.

Yes, I cried for this beloved tree that had stood through historical moments that I can only read about in books. I had looked forward to seeing this tree stand tall throughout the remainder of my life-time, but nature had other ideas, so it will simply be a part of our lives in another form.

If you can love a tree, this was one to love, by all of us in the family. So, it seems fitting and right that this grand old tree be used to adorn Heather's wedding celebration. Instead of plain chunks of wood from any old tree, she will know that this tree was her shelter and protection during many hot summer days in Texas and be happy to know that the old tree did not disintegrate without being utilized to the fullest extent of our ability.

Part of this tree is likely to become a portion of our kitchen and bathroom countertops. If there is enough of the tree left, we might make a few table-tops for side-tables in the house and for the porch. The rings of the secondary branches are incredible. I can only imagine how those long slabs will look once they are cut for the counter-tops. We will probably hire a company to come to our land and do these cuts, professionally. Until then, there is plenty wood for Deputy Dave to be cutting for our own family's use. I believe I'll also be giving each family member a natural cutting board from this oak tree, sanded to perfection, and covered with mineral oil, ready for a lifetime of use and beauty in the kitchen.

I'll have to write about our weekend in the next following blog entries because we had a wonderful time in the country. I'm beyond exhausted, but in a good way. My body is exhausted, but my mind is renewed.

We also walked part of the land and confirmed the spot where we will be building our cabin in the woods. I could barely contain my excitement while standing in the spot where I anticipate, one day, to be standing from INSIDE the cabin, looking out over the land. The scenery is breathtaking. I can't imagine waking up to that kind of view each and every day. It's got to be something that never gets old!

To think about it...waking up each day, good or bad, to look out over a grove of trees and a creek-bed, well, that has to be calming, especially since the scenery remind me of what it feels like to gaze at an intriguing, famous painting that only grows more valuable with each passing day.

Anyway, we are doing our best to keep plugging along and hoping that God stays tight along with us as we make our decisions to move forward in life.

This week, I am trying to level out my excitement at the prospect of moving to that little space on our planet that Deputy Dave and I find to be rooted into our souls. Anything worth having is worth waiting for...I'm trying to be patient and knowing that the move will come when it is deemed right by the Good Lord. To that extent, we already had another showing at our house in the city this afternoon. As I'm trying to wash all the camp bedding and towels caked with dirt, we got a call that someone wanted to come see the house.'s  not always to our liking.

Until the moment we officially are moved to the country, we are thoroughly enjoying our excursions to our land and appreciating all of the bug bites, scratches, bruises, cuts and sore muscles that come with stepping foot onto that heavily wooded soil.

It's worth every step we take.


Michelle said...

It's so beautiful there. I would love to wake up to that view every day. We have a RV. I would just park it there and never leave, if I had my way. But life does get in the way.

Michelle said...

You are right...being outdoors is worth it!

LindaG said...

Amen. All in the Lord's time. ♥

And how could you buy wood off the internet when you have such wonderful wood on your property?

And how fitting for 'something old'? :-)

Wonderful pictures. Welcome home and good luck with the viewing!

Vickie said...

I'm there with you, Lana. It's like you are sharing my thoughts about your land. I'm so sorry about your tree. We have a grand old oak right behind our little farmhouse that must be 150 years old. Last summer with the unbearable heat, it had several huge branches up in the top that died. I don't know if it's going to die or if we can just have that cut out. It's not going to look good, but I'm hoping that we can save it. We had another red oak, a huge one, that we called "the Colonel" that died, too. I hate that for you... be patient, girl - your move will happen in God's own time. You only need ONE buyer - the right one!

RiverBend Farm said...

I wish you all the best on your endeavor to get out of Houston. Been there, done that and glad of it! I love your idea of using pieces of the tree for the's a great way to keep all those memories close at hand.

Alana said...

Looking forward to seeing and using the wood slabs!