I’ve lived in Alamance County all my life, back and forth between Burlington and Graham. When I was young I loved climbing into any tree I could find to hoist myself into. My grandparents (Albert “Papa” and Martha “Nana” Bowes) had a big Oak tree with a tall branch that they tied a swing to for us kids. I would try to climb the rope as high as I could to see if I could touch the branch at the top. Sadly, my Nana passed away last February, but it gives me joy to think of how tickled she would get watching me climb, even well into my adult years she would remark on it. My daughter, 7 this year, is the same way – I call her monkey for that reason, she’s always climbing. It’s so fun to see that part of myself in her, I get tickled the same way my Nana did.
As I grew up that love of playing in trees has transitioned to a more relaxing activity, swinging in a hammock. My husband and I bought our first house in Graham, on Holt Ave, and it had a big Magnolia tree in the backyard, I loved spending time in the hammock under its shady leaves. When we got our first puppy in that home we were looking for a name for her, my dad suggested Magnolia because she loved to play with the “grenades” that fell from the tree. So, she’s Maggie.
I have loved being a part of the tree board, since 2019. It has given me a chance to give back in a small way by working on initiatives, like Arbor Day, that help educate the younger generation on the importance of having trees in our communities. It’s also allowed me to reflect on all the ways trees have positively impacted my life.