A gift, the homeschool blooming cherry tree grows and thrives

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????My memories go back 20 years every time I look at this blooming cherry tree in my yard, remembering a group of homeschool friends in North Carolina who were special in my life. The tree was a gift from them when we were transferred back home to Virginia with SWAC Husband’s job, a thank you and a token of the love that had grown between us during the years we educated our children and socialized together. This is our ICHE tree — ICHE being an acronym for Iredell County Home Educators. When presented to us, it was about 2-3 feet tall. It obviously loves the Virginia soil because it now towers over my head. This tree makes me smile.

??????????Every spring for about one week, the ICHE tree is in full bloom, a beautiful reminder that we have weathered yet another winter and warmer temperatures have returned. This year the blooms opened on Monday, April 6, as temps rose to the mid-70s. They have weathered a couple of thunderstorms and high winds the past week, and this morning some blossoms are drifting through the breeze past the windows, and we know they will not be here much longer.

??????????It is one of a number of blooming trees and bushes in the yard — forsythia, japonica, plums, Bradford pears, red buds, and more.

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??????????Rocking on the porch, I can see this reminder of dear friends who are now Facebook friends. Time moves on … our friendships continue.

??????????The blooming cherry blossoms frame the woods that still look like winter. As the grass greens and the blossoms release from the tree, the woods on the ridge will begin to green and leaf out as we move toward summer. It’s spring in Virginia….

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
April 6-12, 2015

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