Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – “Timber-r-r-r-r” by Elizabeth Slaughter

Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

Time to welcome a new participant to the series with four posts from her archives.. me Elizabeth Slaughter. Elizabeth shares many stories of her childhood and family and tough to select just four… but having spent the last few years removing dead trees in danger of toppling in two homes.. this one struck a chord..

“Timber-r-r-r-r” by Elizabeth Slaughter

1948-50s 376

Living among all those Douglas fir trees certainly came as proof that we were in Oregon and no longer in New York City. But Oregon is also famous for its green terrain. And the green is courtesy of rain and more rain for much of the year. The winter of this photo produced extra ordinary rain, loosening the soil around the large fir in the back yard. Then all it took was a strong wind and the tree toppled. A careful look reveals that our swing set is mangled in the wreckage.

Of all times for a tree to come crashing into the yard, it picked a night my parents had gone out to dinner. This left our babysitter with three frightened children as the branches(already removed in this photo) crashed onto the roof, leaving a significant hole. My parents arrived back home after a frantic call to the Chinese restaurant where they were finally sharing a meal without us. Fortunately, in those days, parents left numbers where they could be reached by babysitters. They rushed home, with the food in those little white containers, and finished their meal by candlelight. The tree and others like it in the area had knocked out power.

My brother and I were unconcerned about the hole in the roof, but were very upset about the swing set. My mother was unconcerned about the swing set, but upset that her clothesline had been destroyed. My father, leaning on his ax, was unconcerned about the swing set and the clothesline. He was just trying to figure out how he was going to turn all that tree into firewood.

©Elizabeth Slaughter


About Elizabeth Slaughter

I am retired from the Pacific Northwest College of Art(originally the Museum Art School) in Portland, Oregon where I was a professor of English and taught for 25 years. I had the privilege and challenge of teaching painters, photographers, sculptors, printmakers, illustrators, ceramicists, and graphic design students to express themselves in words. We also engaged in lively discussions about poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama. It was a unique opportunity for me to flourish in an nontraditional (for English professors) academic setting where how I taught was privileged over what research I published.

My family moved to the East coast fifteen years ago when much of the world seemed to be descending on Portland. In doing so, I mirrored a journey my parents had taken to relocate from Brooklyn to Oregon in 1948 when I was one year old. Here I continued teaching at the local community college before deciding to retire all together.

About Elizabeth’s Blog:

This is the beginning of a larger project to share various kinds of writing I enjoy. I am starting with this blog, but intend to incorporate that into a web site which will include poetry, longer reflective essays, short memoir pieces and family history accounts.

I hope you will head over to Elizabeth’s blog and enjoy browsing through her archives as they are rich with history.. thanks Sally.

39 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – “Timber-r-r-r-r” by Elizabeth Slaughter

  1. How very frightening, Elizabeth. You could have been injured with an accident like that. We had a large tree in our garden and I had it cut down much to Terence’s anguish because I was afraid of something like this. He was annoyed because I didn’t tell him and he came home and it was cut down.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to meeting you, Elizabeth. What a frightening experience you had as a child when the tree crashing on the roof of the house. Yes, the soil is Oregon is loose with rich nutrient. When I was a student in Portland renting a cottage with a huge yard, my neighbor helped me to plow the soil.All I had to do was to plant seed. Without watering, I had am abundant harvest.

    I moved to southern California after finishing school. My daughter went to the university in Portland and stayed there.Every time I go back to Portland, I can smell the green as soon as I land. I love it.

    Thank you for this post, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I bet that put your parents off leaving you for a while. I still remember the first time I left my fourteen-year-old son looking after the other three for an evening. We were only in the Indian restaurant across the road, but I sat with a view of the window, watching for rising smoke.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up.. Gems from your Archives, Universal Energy and All That Jazz | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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