Planting Loblolly Seeds (5.31.18)
We live in a condo at Pawleys Island, SC, therefore I meet people either on my walks (which have been temporarily derailed due an injury from Disney’s Goofy) or in the elevator heading to the parking lot. I bumped into a cute elderly couple twice recently at the elevator. I learned that they were from Tennessee. It takes them 14 hours to travel here and the woman has been visiting Pawleys Island for the past 50 years! Wowser! That’s a a long-term repeat tourist! I also heard the gentleman mention a farm back home when we were chatting about the rain one day. I figured the next time that I saw him, I’d inquire about the farm.
Rosalina and I were taking Kali out to use the restroom and bumped into the elderly gentleman downstairs at the elevator. He was getting a luggage cart, because he and his wife were heading back to Tennessee the next day. I asked him about the farm he mentioned the other day and he said that he has a farm with pine trees that has been in his family for years. I said, “What kind of pine trees?” He said, “Loblolly pines.” My intuition was ringing “Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!” Anyhow, during our 10 minute chat, I learned that he harvests loblollies to sell for the building and the paper industry. He said that the demand for the pine trees is down and has been down since Hurricane Katrina which made no sense to me. I didn’t have time to thoroughly understand the wood business, but he seemed knowledgeable and willing to share information. I told him that I was a children’s author and that I would like to give him a copy of Loblolly which is a book about loblolly pine trees if he was interested in it. He agreed to accept my offer. My husband Nathan was returning from the grocery store and bumped into us as we were chatting with this gentleman, therefore we all introduced ourselves to one another and learned that this man’s name was Paul.
Rosalina and I took Kali off to do her business and then we went to deliver the copy of Loblolly, Loblolly, You’re So Tall to Paul from Tennessee. We wanted to say “hello” to his wife, but she was on the phone with someone else, so we waved to her. I told Paul the mini version of Loblolly and he said that the book looked wonderful and that he would share it with the folks in the wood industry associated with a university. We also learned that his father or grandfather built a log cabin out of loblolly pine trees, but unfortunately it burnt down years ago.
As we waved good-bye and said, “Safe travels!” it felt good to hand this book off to a farmer of loblolly trees from Tennessee. When we returned to the condo, we reported our experience to the rest of the family. As I was describing the gentleman to Ashlee and Rosalina, Nathan said, “He looks like an elf.” That’s exactly the feeling I had each time I interacted with this gentleman. Paul had bright, twinkling eyes and bright energy. Loblolly is in good hands to enlighten Paul and his sphere of influence in Tennessee about Mommy Moo Moo’s perspective of these trees from her backyard in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia. Following my intuition for planting Loblolly seeds.