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Entry date: 11-29-2022 - The Trees part 21 - Things I made up

Dear Friends,

It's been over a month since the last installment of The Trees. When we left off, Dan had just found out about the special flowers at his friend Rob's house. Things are happening fast but we need to get to know a few of the other characters a bit better.



Allie was convinced something was up with her dad and Dan. They had been acting so strangely since they got back from the coast. During the staff meeting on Tuesday, Dan had let her take the lead for much of the meeting, which was not strange, but it was the way he seemed to be extremely preoccupied that caught her off-guard. Even the previous week when he had announced his cancer diagnosis, he had still been way more present than he was for the most recent one.

She knew her father would not spill the beans, but if she could just get time with Dan. Luckily, he had asked her to come to his office on Friday morning so they could discuss plans for the following week when he would be on the East Coast visiting clients. Usually, he would have told her what clients he was meeting with so she could put together some reports, but he hadn’t asked yet, which was odd. She was prone to overthinking things, though, as Dan had pointed out many times and she realized that she had no idea what it would be like to be Dan right now.

Growing up, Allie had always wondered about what it was her dad and Dan did at Evolve. John Rawls had always told her that they helped people be better at their job and that was enough for her. She hadn’t planned on ever joining the team and in high school had chosen to work as a lifeguard in the summertime and would baby sit around the neighborhood as well as doing a fair amount of dog and cat feeding, too. They lived in a nice neighborhood in Phoenix and her neighbors were prone to traveling a lot, so it worked out for everyone.

Hettie often called Allie her “little helper” growing up. It was just her nature to see what she could do to help others. Allie especially liked helping animals and was always bringing home strays or wounded creatures. These were often short-lived stays due to some nasty allergies suffered by her dad and brother to the dander most dogs and cats had, but she managed to take care of a pretty nice aquarium in her room and she loved showing it to anyone who would let her explain a little something about every fish in the tank.

She had wanted to be a veterinarian but realized quickly in her first year of college at Arizona State University that the necessary science she would have to take was not her friend. Allie should have probably realized this after struggling with science classes at Xavier College Prep, a private Catholic High School off 7th Street, not far from Evolve’s offices. By her junior year in 2002, she had switched over to marketing and started to spend more time in the summers working at Evolve and frequenting the places she and her high school friends used to escape to when they were able to get off campus for lunch.

It was on one of these lunch hours during the summer of 2004 after she officially became a full-time Evolve calling agent that she met her husband, Ron, who was at Miracle Mile Delicatessen at Park Central Mall one day with some of his fellow firefighters. They were standing next to each other in line waiting for their food and, after doing some harmless eavesdropping, she commented on something he said to his buddies.

Ron asked her if she was always listening to other people’s conversations, and she had told him she got paid to do that every day. They exchanged numbers before leaving the restaurant and the rest, as they say, is history. When Ron told her that he had wrestled a little in high school, she was so excited to tell Dan that her new boyfriend had something in common with him as Dan had been a wrestler in high school, as well.

“Aren’t you pretty tall for a wrestler?” Allie had asked Ron who was about 6’2”.

“Yes. Those short, squat guys in my division would just kill me when they got me on the ground,” Ron had said.

Allie thought about this for a long time after the conversation and imagined Dan, who could talk anyone into anything, in her eyes, trying to talk to his opponents during a match. She had wanted to ask him if he tried that strategy but had never got around to it. One day, though, she would have to ask. Allie was pretty good at talking people into things, too, in her own way, but she liked that Dan was often there to help her.

When she brought Ron home to meet her parents, they had invited the Lewis’s over as well. Dan and Ron had talked for over an hour about wrestling. Allie liked to joke that this was the reason Cole had gotten into it, as well, as he was about five at the time and hung on every word of the conversation. Allie particularly loved that Dan and Ron bonded over the fact they had both been terrible wrestlers in their day with each of them being on the tall side for the sport.

This was just another example of how important Dan was in her life. He embraced Ron a little before her dad did. It was probably easier for Dan with Allie being her dad’s pride and joy, but she was also pretty sure Dan had talked John into giving Ron the benefit of the doubt. Dan had that power over her dad and she admired how well he could get him to relax, at times, and stop looking at life like he did a computer.

Allie decided she would approach her Friday meeting with Dan like a wrestling match. She would see what he was willing to put out there before she went in for the pin. She knew he was hiding something, and she was not going to let him get out of town for a week without finding out.


See you tomorrow.

Remember Farmtown? Time wasters galore on social media.

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