Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Hand-Me-Down Fig Tree

In 1912, Wild Bill's maternal grandparents...
Will and Mattie Savage
...married and moved to Oklahoma.

It didn't take them long to move back to
Texas. They returned to the little Northeast town
of Whitesboro and spent the rest of their lives
living in that small town.

Early on, Will planted a fig tree for Mattie. The
fig tree grew and provided figs for the 10 
daughters and 2 sons born to Will and Mattie.

Thirty-five years after Will and Mattie married,
their daughter Jessie (my MIL)  married in 1947.
Later when Jessie and Raymond bought a house,
Will gave them a cutting from the his old fig tree. 

Before Jessie and Raymond sold their house in
2006, Jessie gave her nephew Kent a cutting
from her (now) old fig tree.

Wild Bill finally retired in 2012, exactly 100
years after Will and Mattie married.
Our retirement house is just down the road
from Whitesboro and Cousin Kent brought
us a cutting from his fig tree that year. 

Through the freezing snow and ice of the last
few years, our fig tree cutting has survived
and thrived. Wild Bill will soon need to plant
the little fig tree in the ground as it is now
out-growing its spot on the front patio.
Every time we sit on the patio, I think
of Will and Mattie's fig tree and how it has
been handed down through the generations
to land not far from where Will first
planted the original tree for his Mattie.
I often read about how people move their fig
trees inside for the Winter. I'm not sure if
it's necessary to do that as it does seem that
our little fig tree thrives on the cold weather.

While gazing at our little tree, I often think of
this story Wild Bill told me of his grandpa:

When Wild Bill was a little boy, he was out
in the garden with his Grandpa Will. Mattie 
came out to the yard to hang the wash and
Will stared at her with a grin on his face and
told his grandson what a beautiful woman
his wife was. 

Little Bill said: 
"Oh, that's Nanny...she just looks old!"

and Will laughed and said:
"Son, you're not looking at her with my eyes."

Last Saturday, that little cowboy and I celebrated
our 18th wedding anniversary. I sure hope he still
sees me like Grandpa Will saw his Mattie all those
 years later.

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Thats a wonderful story... Theres a fig tree in the Garden next store and the last two years it had stretch itself over to my Garden and I loved it. But for some reason to my surprise they cut it away from my Garden. It sadden me it had such beautiful green leaves and lovely figs. Now I cant reach them. I think its wonderful you now have a piece of history. Happy Wednesday with Love Janice

  2. Tears in my eyes - I 'm a sap for a touching story!

  3. That's so neat! We had a fig tree in my backyard growing up. We used to climb it and eat the figs. They make beautiful small trees in the yard.

  4. I love stories like this. Mattie was beautiful. Look at that tiny waist, and imagine having 10 girls to raise...and 2 boys!! I'm not having any luck growing a fig tree. The cold has killed it back to the ground for the last two winters. Both times I thought the tree was dead but new growth started coming up from the roots.? At this rate I'll never have a 'tree'. Your fig tree is beautiful.

  5. One of the sweetest things I've read in a long time!!!

  6. what a sweet story Sugar-10 daughters?? WOWZA!

  7. What a great story, Wild Bill sure is cute,

  8. I love these family history stories. Great pictures! My family has a similar story with a blue spruce tree-- the cutting is now taller than the house. I like bringing in fig cuttings just for cut greenery. They start to root in the water & stay nice for weeks. (Nice because I don't have the best luck with houseplants.)

  9. What a wonderful story! I love stories of families and how things are passed down through the generations! What a special gift, this fig tree! Have a wonderful day and thank you for visiting my blog!

  10. This is a fantastic story! Love how a fig tree has been used to tie so many generations together.
    Mary Alice

  11. What a delightful love story. I thought, when I read they had 12 children, that they must really be in love..(blushing).....and take a look at her tiny waist. She was indeed, a beauty.
    I am impressed on the passing down of the fig tree...wonderful tradition and wish I had thought of it.

  12. What a lovely story. So true...looking through the eyes of love changes everything.

    How lucky you are to have a living memory of the past. I am going to look at my fig tree in an entirely new way.

  13. Oh I just loved this story - it represents so much - and that little fig tree is so symbolic of ever lasting love - just beautiful !!!

  14. What a wonderful, sweet story. Reading it touched my heart and I loved that picture of your hubby.

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  15. What a wonderful story! I am so glad that it stuck with your husband all these years.