Perhaps no plant is more a part of my early childhood than a pecan tree. It brings to mind several family photos in my memory book. The first image is playing under a huge shade tree on a quilt pallet, while the older folks in my family shook the tree and picked up the nuts that fell. They were rewarded with a share of the harvest and a small wage. The second picture is of the whole family gathered around the kitchen table, the room lit by an oil lantern, and we all would work together to separate the meat from the shell. For me, it wasn't really work because we were entertained by stories and songs. The third picture is of an annual Christmas gift- a bag of shelled pecans sent by my cousin who still owns a native grove.