Late in the fall when I was 7 or 8 years old my Mother asked me to collect the sweet gum balls that had fallen from the sweet gum tree. I couldn’t imagine what she was going to do with these prickly balls. Then on a December afternoon Mom asked me to help her make some Christmas tree ornaments. We took Elmer’s glue and put a dot on the end of a toothpick and put the toothpick into a ball. Once all the holes were filled and all the balls were done we sprayed them white. We must have created 40-50 beautiful stars! Today there are only 15 left and they are my most prized ornaments. They have years of tinsel wrapped around them and some toothpicks are missing but they are still beautiful nestled in the tree branches. I treasure these memories.