A story about the tree in my photograph: That tree is on an island in the middle of Long Lake (near Traverse City, MI), a place that I have visited every year, except for three, since I was six years old. Unfortunately, the name of the lake is so common that it belies the wonder of the place. Anyway, when I was about 16 some girlfriends and I camped on the island. During the night a tremendous northern Michigan storm blew up and we were stranded. The wind tugged at our tents and almost blew them over. The fire, which was out when we went to sleep, started up ferociously due to the wind. As we camped under the trees, the lightning flashed jaggedly for hours. The noise from the thunder shook the ground. The rain pounded on us relentlessly. As I remember, we were terrified, excited, energized, and exhausted. Finally, at the end of it we loaded our sopping wet gear into our metal rowboat and putt-putted home, through large white capping waves, with the six horsepower Evinrude. What a scraggly bunch we were.
The kicker: When my girlfriend, Joanne, saw the green tree with the hot pink background in the post from the other day she wrote to me and said, "as soon as I saw the picture of the tree I knew where it was from." So, even in its altered form, that tree is special and recognizable to more people in the world than just me.
My moral to the story: Open your eyes. Look around you and actually see. You'll have images that trigger great memories for the rest of your life!