Under the Doughnut Tree

Under the Doughnut Tree


Under the Doughnut Tree is the journey of becoming over age 60. I’ll journey both back in time and forward with future dreams.

“Breathe in” and live, love and remember…

I think we all have a doughnut tree... A place that takes us back to being 13.... a place that felt like the beginning of the worst, yet the magical dream place of what was to come. Perhaps the most contradictory place on earth when you are a depressed 13 years old girl.

Come and join me as I tell the tales and dream the dreams. It’s been a wonderful 50 years since that old tree was the backdrop for the daily gift of the freshest doughnuts In our small town....the only doughnuts in our small town. 

I’d love to say I figured life out during the couple of years that I spent eating my doughnut lunches beneath that tree, but the only thing I figured out was that the questions are endless and life is a journey. 

Sad and Melancholy

How could I be 61 years old? Yesterday I was listening to Karen Carpenter and dreaming of romance, weddings, babies and being just like my older sister. In between Karen Carpenter and now… many soundtracks have played, but for tonight I’ll stay with Karen, James, Carly, Olivia and Carole. The age of massively confused innocence.

If you aren’t 62, I highly suggest you make a playlist of early 70’s sad, melancholic soft rock and spend a boring Saturday afternoon laying on an olive green striped velvet couch being a depressed 13 year old. I’d also suggest finding all of the music on old 33 albums and putting them on a turntable that drops down album by album in a giant console cabinet stereo (but that might get expensive and time consuming). To set the mood, don’t forget it’s a hot summer day with no air conditioning; just a whirring box fan setting on the olive green shag carpet. The sound of the fan is being drowned out by Karen melodiously singing “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Gets Me Down.”

If I had only known

If I had only known how fast the years would pass, I’d have memorized every smile and every year. They are each etched in my heart. I have lived and loved. I have been on the mountain top and I have been broken. 

I remember writing the haunting words to so many poems back then. Words I was just beginning to feel. They still echo with each new heartbreak. At 13, you feel the words in your heart. At 61, they are embedded in your soul. 

Oh but the sweet memories are not even matched by the glazed coated perfectly fresh doughnuts from that little bakery. The innocent boy that would skip class to go buy my precious gift each day had no idea that gift would be etched in time. He read my poems and shook his head. I’m really not sure why he returned to my overly dramatic self and that tree every day. Maybe he was as bored with life as I was? I’m surely positive it wasn’t just to critique the musings in my yellow spiral bound composition notebook. What boy on earth could understand anything a 13 year old girl might write? 

I sure wish I could find that notebook. I know it’s here somewhere. 

Silver streaks and golden apples   November 26, 2022

Silver or no??? Burnished streaks of color with a brassy gold tried to hide the confusion in my mirror. I looked at photos of myself, but the dark haired girl and been replaced my a silver haired girl. On the inside she was much the same, but the outside was so confused. 

I wasn’t embarrassed by the silver hair, but I was saddened by the light that had disappeared from her eyes. I was almost disgusted by the frailty that accompanied the silver hair. Granted a serious illness had robbed her strength, but I couldn’t accept that all that was left were memories. What happens when the memories, too, lose their vibrant color? 

There was once a girl that treasured a golden apple bought from a roadside peddler as dearly as she would have treasured the most precious diamond. She was alive! She breathed in the autumn air and rejoiced over every color in her chaotic, magical, confused, heartbreaking, earth shattering, rollercoaster life. She played in the rain! She loved with her whole heart, her whole being, her entire breath of life. She tried so hard to hold on to her golden apple, the colorful fall leaves, the last warmth of the setting October sun. Yet, like the dark hair, the glint of fire in her eyes and the strength in her step… the golden apple faded into a memory. A memory to be rekindled from time to time, but yet only a memory.

When I saw that silver hair… for a fleeting season, I tried to bring the magic back with streaks of burnished auburn and the color of the golden sunset, but the dark haired woman child of that sweet October had been replaced with silver wisdom and a helpless realization that as the colors fade all that’s left is the soft wind that blows in the cold air of winter.

November Rain      11/27/2022

“Nothin' lasts foreverAnd we both know hearts can change, And it's hard to hold a candleIn the cold November rain”

Golden October is always followed by ever changing November. Decades after the bright blue skies, radiantly beautiful falling leaves and the sweet taste of autumn apples, I discovered November rain. Actually, it was an ongoing process from that first November ever after, that spiraled like the leaves for decades. What I learned…

“Love is always coming, love is always going.No one's really sure who's lettin' go today…Walking away”

Heartbreak and life lessons cuts like a knife (oops that’s another song for another day), but they also act much like the rushing waters of a creek in the serene hillsides of my surroundings. The rushing water rolls the sharp edges of the lessons into a smooth, rounded acceptance just like the smooth pebbles in the creek bed. 

“Or I'll just end up walkin' in the cold November rain”

I lived long enough to learn how walking in the cold November rain can actually make you stronger, yet softer. Much like that pebble, the beauty came from the journey.

We all have our golden apples, bright blue skies, falling leaves, blowing winds and walks in cold November rain. The only differences are the sweet memories that are left in each of our stories when we are left staring at the pebble.

“'Cause nothin' lasts forever, even cold November rain.”

As each life story unfolds….

There you were               November 29, 2022

There you were once more. You popped right up on the “People You May Know” list on my Facebook feed along with several other people I may know. I stop to wonder if you know you are invading my privacy by being there? After all, you have no way of knowing that some social media platform somewhere has linked us. 

People I may know. Exactly why does Facebook dare presume I may know you! I dare “they” assume that I may know you! Know you? Knew you? I think the “may know” is the phrase that spills the blood. It was oh so true or was it? The mirrors and illusions. What was the last words? Oh yeah… weren’t they “goodbye” followed by time? Never another hello or how are you. Just time and echoes of silence. 

I wonder if you ever stare at the “People You May Know” suggestions and wonder what the “May” really meant. 

Just silence

Mary Ann Turner