Dear Mr. Alice:Years ago my husband (then boyfriend) carved our initials in an oak sapling. He said that after a few decades they would be eight or ten feet up in the air as the tree grew to its full size. I believed him then, but after so many years of marriage I've gotten skeptical about lots of things I used to believe about romance. If we could find that tree again, where would the initials be? — C.C. loves M.C., San Diego
That oak isn’t the only sapling in this story, if you believed what he said. Trees grow up from the ends of branches and down from the tips of roots. The middle of the tree stays put; it just increases in circumference. If you could find the tree, you’d see that “C.C. loves M.C." is in the same place he carved it. You’d undoubtedly find that the letters have spread out and gotten fuzzy, like an old tattoo on a guy who just gained a lot of weight. Of course, there’s always the chance that hubby killed the tree when he carved away at the nutrient delivery system and the growth layer under the bark, but, hey, what’s a tree or two sacrificed to true love?