Maybe it’s because I’m single again that doing “some” things is just a little harder than it used to be. Like picking the tree at Lowe’s. And bringing it in. And putting it in the stand.
At Lowe’s: “So, I think that trunk is too short, cuz’ I need at least eight inches on the bottom. I mean I think I do,” I said. “I mean, I can’t exactly remember how the tree stand is built. I know it has four long screws, but the bottom on the inside—not sure how deep it is. Hmmmm.”
The tree “guy” is standing there, looking at me and thinking, “Blond. Woman. Christmas. And there will be more. I hope I survive.”
I said to him, “Gee, I hope everyone isn’t as uncertain as I am.”
“Me, too,” he said.
In a one-horse open Crossfire
So, can you help me put it on top of the car?” I asked. The car is a (hot) little sports number with sloping roof and hatchback. Soon, I was winging my way home, albeit slowly, with one perfectly-shaped Noble fir triple tied on top of two sheets of plastic, and slowly sliding down toward the pavement–that’s not noble!
I pulled into the garage and heave-ho’d the tree off the car and 100 yards into my patio, dead needles leaving a conspicuous trail behind me. Once in the house, I “tested” its location in two spots, creating twice the mess. I’m sure I’ll be finding pine needles well into 2013.
Two large plastic tubs held the ornaments of yesteryear, and as I unwrapped each one, I recalled the story that went with it. So many belonged to my mom, who was a teacher in Charlotte for much of her entire career—and a beloved one. Her students gave her ornaments, which she gave to me. I also have ornaments from San Antonio, New York, Houston, Denver and New Zealand, reminding me of friends and fun and Christmases past. Some are in pretty rough shape, showing their age.
But like me, they’re not “done” yet.
My tree is wide and full, and it sparkles like the stars and planets at night—except in color. A sense of reverence surrounds it, so much so that none of the three felines has tried to destroy it, or its one-of-a-kind decorations.
Was it trouble just for me? Yes, it was. Would I do it again? Yes, I would, and I will.
I admit the hardest part of the season is the missing people: Nanny, Papa, Nanny Ruth, Aunt Libby, Mom, Dad. Missing mental pieces, little tidbits of Christmas trees, presents, parties, food and just plain LOVE float through my thoughts like fluffy clouds that then dissipate into nothingness. I wonder: Where did they go?
Attention is back on the tree now, in all its glory. What a thing of beauty! A work of art, if I do say so. I’ll keep this tree.
May your tree and your days be merry and bright, and may all your holidays be a delight!