Grass skirts and palm trees

I'll admit it. I LOVE palm trees. For a Michigan girl, who rarely sees these trees up close and personal, I'm not really sure where my fascination with these trees came from. But I think maybe the whole "oceans, palms, and all things semi-tropical" might have a connection to grass skirts and a little-girl's dress up dreams. IMG_3831The memory hit me today as I was cleaning out the top shelf of a closet (that was long overdo). I emptied box after box, most of which is headed for donation. But in one, I found some wooden models of a canoe and a hut that came from the New Hebrides islands where my dad was stationed during WWII. My mom had typed the year and place on a card that fit with them - 1943.

It was then I recalled that my dad had also brought or sent home grass skirts from either the New Hebrides or the Philippine Islands. I'm not sure which, and we no longer have the grass skirts. But what a fun find they were when as a child I searched our attic and found a big box where they were stored.

As an "almost only" child (the youngest who was an "only" from age 10 on), I spent a lot of time alone, imagining all sorts of play. I played "house" with my Barbies and other assorted little dolls, and Batman and Robin when I could get a friend to wear the second blanket cape we wore to jump from the couch "flying" to save the good guys from the evil villains. But the grass skirts I put on and danced in alone. (I didn't know how to dance - officially.) But I could pretend, and this kind of dress up was unique. No one else I knew had grass skirts from the Philippines.

Ah...memories. I'm not really sure what that has to do with palm trees, but those islands surely had them. Then there was the fact that my dad's whole family had moved to California where palm trees live in abundance. And now I'm writing about Deborah, who judged Israel guessed it...a palm tree!

The Middle East, the west coast, the tropics...all home to my favorite tree. And I live in Michigan where I can only find them at a local mall who managed to plant them in their dome-like structure.

I know God doesn't make mistakes, but sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong state. Or maybe those grass skirts just gave me my first taste of exploring the world in my imagination. My dad would be glad his gift to my mom offered his little girl such pleasure and fed her dreams.