Where are the Trees?

by Nora Peterson Klier

WHERE ARE THE TREES? A sheltered look at growing up in Midland as a PK (Pastor’s Kid)

I was entering 3rd grade when my family of 6 moved from Dallas to Midland, Texas.  Where were the trees?  In Dallas the family lived in a beautiful old mansion at 401 North Rosemont.  That structure still stands as an event center.  Trees lined the entire corner of the block ….tall trees.   They turned colors in the fall before shedding their leaves.  When my family lived there the mansion was purchased by the Lutheran Church to serve as both a mission church and a “parsonage”.  The first floor was used as the church and the second was where our family lived.  To my young eyes the 19 century house was beautiful with it’s stained glass windows on the landing of the wide staircase that led up to “our home.” But now we were in west Texas—Midland, Texas.  Midland was home to the tumbleweeds and dust storms the likes of which our family  had never seen.  Once in HS my dad sent me down to Furr’s grocery store for milk or something we needed for Sunday lunch.  I hopped on my bicycle pedaling against the wind of a sand storm, head down and determined.  I rode right into the back of a car parked on the curb near our church.   The entire time I was in Midland I yearned for a beautiful green yard with lots of trees.  I remember, at Christmas, helping mother decorate a little tumbleweed tree , made of graduated sizes of tumbleweeds.  We stacked 3 one on top of another, shaped much like a snowman. The “tree” was first sprayed with canned snow.  We also had a real tree, a Douglas fir, often brittle before we took it down after Epiphany.  By then, brown needles blanketed the floor around it. Our house wasn’t quite ready when we arrived to Midland in 1952. A very kind and talented carpenter and member of the Dallas church built both the Midland church and was still living in our house as he was still putting on the finishing touches to both church and house..