It began rather simply…
“Mom, how come we never have a REAL tree?”
“We’ve had live trees. But after you kids got older, we decided the artificial tree was easier.”
“But, I don’t remember having a live tree – only an artificial tree.”
Suddenly, it dawned on me that the age gap between our youngest child and her siblings was enough that she really didn’t remember the live trees.
It had been our tradition in Colorado to make a day trip to the National Forrest for tree cutting weekend. We’d pile the kids into the SUV with a thermos of hot chocolate and a hand saw. It was a fun and inexpensive outing for our family. Only $8 for a tree permit, plus the gas to get there and a meal on the way home. Great Memories! Sadly, she was too young to recall them.
“Okay, go ask dad.” I responded, realizing that in a few more years she may not be home for Christmas. Make the memories while you still can, I thought to myself – and Boy, did we!
Off we went to the local tree farm and found a perfect little (over-priced) tree, but it wasn’t out of the ground yet – so we agreed to return that weekend to pick it up. The day came and our daughter was excited to pick up the tree – we arrived, but alas it had not been dug up.
So much for my routine of putting up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. It was too soon to bring in a live tree anyway, so we began searching out another tree at a better price since we had some time.
A week before Christmas our daughter came home from college and off we went to the next tree farm (with much better prices) and picked out our beautiful little tree. Watching the young man put it into the back of our truck with a Bobcat should have been our first red flag.
We arrived home and enthusiastically backed the truck up to the back porch. It was a straight shot through the sliding door to the front window. But how???
“I don’t remember trees being so heavy!” Or could it be that we are indeed getting older? After several failed attempts we gave up. “Honey, I don’t think this tree is going in the house for Christmas. We will just have to go ahead and plant it.”
By this time I think we were all a bit disappointed. We had gotten our hearts set on a live tree for Christmas. Then I had a brain-storm…
“Let’s roll it on its ball up the planks to the door then slide it across the floor on some plastic.”
“Sounds like it might work,” my husband said with a smile. “I’ve got some heavy plastic in the garage.”
A little pushing and pulling later the tree finally came to rest, centered in the living room window. And a beautiful tree she turned out to be!
For 8 glorious days we enjoyed her beauty and then the dreaded day came…
My husband moved the furniture to clear the path and then began the tugging and pushing back towards the door. He pulled, we pushed, and then about half way across the living room floor – it happened! At first it was just a trickle of brown, then a clump, then a trail which led to a full size puddle at the sliding door. Thank goodness we don’t have white carpet!
It was a Murphy’s Law kind of day, because when I plugged in my carpet cleaner, I was surprised by a waterfall saturating the carpet. Good grief! I hadn’t used it in 4 years. Looks like we aren’t the only ones that aged. The rubber seals were shot. So off I went to the rental store. I purchased my soap and payed for the rental, then the clerk cheerfully informed me that she also needed a $50 CASH deposit. Who carries cash these days?
Hubby sent our daughter to the rescue and home I went to spend my Sunday afternoon cleaning the living room carpet. And hey, since I paid for the thing, why not do the entire house?! It seems one thing also leads to another.
I worked right up to the time the cleaner was due back on Monday; cleaning every room of the house. I promptly feel asleep at 8:30 p.m. last night and didn’t open my eyes until 9 a.m. this morning. Yes, we are getting older and it’s not over yet.
Our live Christmas tree now sits acclimating in our garage before we plant it in the yard. If it survives all the abuse of being moved from place to place it will be a miracle. I’m hoping for that miracle, because oh the joy it will bring (along with a lot of laughter) if we can someday look back on that tree with the memories it brought to our home “one” Christmas.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.