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Monday, August 2, 2021


 By Caroline Clemmons

When we purchased our first home, we threw ourselves into landscaping. Hero planted a large garden that included a row of Thompson seedless grape vines. The trees we planted were silver maple and sycamore. We’d been there about two years when Hero received a lucrative job offer from a firm in California. A coworker in Hero’s office bought the house. We moved to Cupertino, near San Francisco and San Jose. We only stayed in CA a year, but that’s another story.

Several months went by and Hero called the man who’d bought the house. “Hey, Lynn, how are you liking the house?”

“We love the house really well, but not the yard. Those trees you sold us died.”

Hero was incredulous. “How could they have died? They were in really good condition when we left.”

“Well, you might have thought so, but all the leaves fell off and the branches are bare as skeletons. I’ll have to dig them up and replant.”

Hero said, “Lynn, it’s winter. That’s why the leaves fell off. They’ll leaf back out this spring.”

Lynn sounded petulant. “That’s what your neighbor said when I roto-tilled the grapevines. She came over and took some of the roots home with her.”

One of the most common trees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is the live oak. If you’re familiar with this tree, you know that, although it is deciduous, it grows new leaves all year so the branches are never bare. I think Lynn must have lived around live oaks all his life—or maybe he never paid attention to the trees until he had a mortgage.

If you’re in the mood for a bargain read, MURDOCH’S BRIDE, book 3 of my Loving a Rancher Series, is on sale for 99¢ through Thursday. Most of the book takes place in a couple of snowstorms and freezing cold. Isn’t that what you need to cool off during this hot weather? Here’s the url in case you haven’t read this book yet



  1. It never dawned on me that anyone would not know about leaves falling off a tree! I do remember being on a flight from El Paso and the guy looked out the window at some scrub oaks and said whoa look at those big trees- and he was serious. Not sure where he was from....

  2. Oh, how devastated I would have been to learn the trees and grapevines were destroyed. "Murdock's Bride" is a nice way to have a chilly summer read. Best of luck with sales and promotion.

    1. My husband was upset. Our former neighbor and good friend who rescued the grape vines successfully grew them along her chain-link fence.


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