Oh Christmas Tree, Oh (3/4 of a) Christmas Tree.
Last Sunday, we cut down our Christmas tree. We were in Amery for the Olson family Christmas and on our way out of town we stopped by a Christmas tree farm, or more accurately, a former Christmas tree farm. The Christmas tree farmer, who lives in a ramshackle house in the middle of the trees apparently got tired tending to the farm and just let the trees grow, unpruned and wild. We found a metal bucket and a sign, any tree: $20. You get what you pay for (i.e. these trees are a little weird looking). And you have to bring your own rope, saw, etc. which we did not. We found some twine in the Olson garage and borrowed a saw from handy Mary for this Christmas tree bargain.
We tromped into the snowy Christmas tree woods with spirits high…for about two minutes. The kids were suddenly seized with great Hunger! Thirst! Cold! Mitten Issues! Coat Problems! General Angst! At that very moment, our eyes were opened to the beauty of the closest tree, and we hi-tailed it back to the car. Dan “secured” the tree atop the van, and we were off!
It only took about three minutes on the highway for the twine to snap and our beloved tree to fly off the roof of our car into oncoming traffic. I glanced in the rearview mirror just in time to our tree disapear beneath the tires of an 18 wheeler. We screeched to a stop and Dan recovered the tree which, miraculously, escaped more or less unscathed. It did lose a few branches and its jolly tip.
We found ourselves by the side of the highway with a topless 8 foot Christmas tree and no rope. Dan did not even think about giving up and going home treeless (after dropping $20 who would?). There was only one option. Into the van came the tree.
I thought that riding an hour and a half with a large fir tree in your face might be upsetting for the children, or at least exciting. But they just sat quietly and didn’t really seem to notice. Although every time we hit a bump, the branches bounced up and down scratching Miss P’s face, and she hollered: “DON’T DO DAT!”
Dan was the real hero, driving all the way home while stabilizing the trunk with his right cheek. What a guy.
When I described these events to Sarah Hoffner, she marveled that a child will just go to pieces because his hand touched something damp, or his sandwich wasn’t cut exactly right, yet say nothing when you put a tree in his lap. Aaah the mysteries of childhood.