Its that time again. Once more we ventured into the breach for a trip to the Christmas tree farm.. As my grandparents are here, we were free to borrow my dad's truck and search for the perfect tree unmolested! It has been unseasonably dry, so I left the kids in their tennies, instead of forcing them into last year's undoubtedly-too-small boots. And I was not in the mood to shop for more, so off we went. Unlike former years, the tree hunt went off without a hitch. No getting stuck, no lost cell phones, no lost children, nothing. The only downside was we did have to hike for about a hectare to get back to the truck after I cut the tree. I had the trunk and led the way, using the saw to guide and restrain SoS as needed, while FB had the top of the tree and whined like a pegged out Ford Fiesta. How did I raise such a candy ass?
Read part I and II taken from the abandoned MySpace Blog:
Intrepid Christmas Tree Hunters Dec 2006
There must be a universal law that states if I am going to get a Christmas tree, especially at a U-cut tree farm, that there must pour forth a deluge that would make Noah think twice about venturing out. It has ever been thus. One of my most vivid childhood memories is of trudging through a tree lot in the rain and falling on my back into a mud puddle. Today was no different. No precipitation all week; the day I go to get a tree...downpour!
Since this is the normal course of my Yuletide season, I bundled my children into my father's truck (sure, you can use it Sisu, in fact, I just washed it! Great.) and off we went to Gorst, singing mightily to The Chipmunks Christmas Album. The trip flew by, as I spent the greater part of it explaining which chipmunk was which, why David Seville exists, and why Alvin still got presents if he was so naughty. What the hey, it was a nice break from the Pokemon dissertation I usually endure in a moving vehicle. (see previous blog, the one where I knocked the garage door off the track because I had been Pokemon-ed to death) I digress. We arrive at the tree farm, picked up a saw and left my ID (yes, I realize that the saw was in slot number 7 and it is numbered 2, but it doesn't matter. Yes, I know where to put it back. Because I recognize my own driver's license, that's how!) and began the official tree adventure. I spied a little used track and ventured down, believing that there must be some choice trees since no one seemed to know of it. No, everyone else just had the common sense to know, if it were little used, it was little maintained. This realization came to me about the time I noticed the mud. Deep mud. Lots and lots of deep mud. A plethora if you will. Hmmm. Dad's truck is not 4 wheel drive. MY 4-wheel drive sat dry and unreliable in my garage 30 miles away. I decided a retreat was in order. So began a 90-point turn, muttering expletives related to excrement. A lot. At one point the tires spun and I nearly wet my pants. Here I sat, mired in the mud, miles away from humanity with two little NON-DRIVERS in the pouring rain. Meaning, if I got stuck, we were hiking. Luckily, through sheer stubbornness, I got us turned around and headed back out. What do I then see? Not one, but four, large trucks headed toward us! Hello! Do not expect me to back up, I just got out of that quagmire and I was not voluntarily heading back in.
Finally, we found a place to pull over and with a little bit of hiking, a little more complaining, and a bit of search and rescue (let's hear it for the bright yellow SpongeBob raincoat) we found a tree. I press ganged FB into carrying it with me, using the flat of the saw like a pair of reins to steer him toward the truck. With dire threats of dismemberment if they got any mud in Grandpa's truck, (wincing at the rooster tails up the side from the stuck in the mud incident) I packed the varmints in the cab and off we went to the office to pay. All in all, a full rich day. So full and rich, I can't find the energy to decorate the dang thing. Oh, well, it needs to dry off first.
The Great Christmas Tree Hunt: part deux Dec 2007
So, once again it is time to venture out in search of the elusive perfect Christmas tree. As my dad is now retired and my parents are constantly around, they think that it is ridiculous for me to do anything by myself when one of them could do it. Mow your own lawn? Why? What's with you cleaning your gutters? You get the point. I had mentioned last week that since this was my weekend off, the boys and I would like to borrow their pick-up and go get a tree. My mother's expected response? "Why don't you go with us and Dad can cut down your tree? Or, we were looking at this place in (name anyplace advertised in the paper) and thought that would be a good place for us all to go." I calmly and gently reminded my mother that I always go to the same place in Gorst, they have great trees, and it is a tradition that FB, SoS, AND I like to do.
Today, dawned cold, clear and sunny. Brief pause while I administer 500 Joules of electricity to restart my heart. FB didn't have Tae Kwon Do today, so after little ninjas we were going to be off for a tree. We get home, pack up, and head over to borrow the truck. My parents aren't home. The truck is outside. I know the code for the garage and know where Dad keeps his keys. Damn my conscience! I call to see if we can use the truck and am informed that they will be there shortly. And they will go with us. And there goes my gentle afternoon. After many more minutes we are ready to go and I (foolishly as it turns out) say to my dad, "This will be the first time I've gotten a tree without precipitation of any kind!" Poor naive soul. What? The sun was still shining. We didn't get to the Port Orchard exit before big fat flakes of mashed potatoes fell from the sky. In any case, we got to the farm, picked up a saw (no questions from the kids this time, long term memory is a fabulous thing) and went to get a tree. Leaving my dad's truck and my fabulous 4-WHEEL DRIVE in a fairly bare area, avoiding all less traveled roads. We quickly find suitable trees and cut them down. My dad did the cutting, because at this point I have accepted my fate and have given myself to the dark side. It wasn't until the second tree that I remembered he was s/p lap chole by only 3 days, and shouldn't be doing a lot of what he was doing including lifting. But, we made it back to the vehicles without incident, breathing a sigh of relief until I hear "GODDAMMIT!" Thinking my father was now copiously bleeding out of one or all of four surgical sites I ran to him....no it would seem he had lost his Blackberry some time between parking the cars and bringing back the last tree. Ohhhhh. Heavy snowing going on for most of this time. Ohhhhhhhh. We began calling his cell and attempting to back track our rapidly disappearing footprints when wonder of wonders we found the thing. Obviously, a sign to get out of Dodge.
Now my mother has several of those Christmas lawn ornaments, you know the ones, spiral trees, animated deer and the like. They are white wire. She mentioned that they might look nice on my lawn, as she wanted the grapevine ones, and did I want them. "You know, I don't really think so, but thanks." They dropped us off at the house with our tree and said adieu. Thinking the rest of my day was to be free, I fed the kids, went to Target to get new snow gear for the rapidly growing parasites, and came home planning on putting the lights on my house while the kids frolicked in the mashed potatoes that littered the lawn. My parents pull up. The bed of the truck is brimming with white wire and crystal mini-lights. "WTF?" Oh just hell! In the manner of all complete nutjobs, my mother took it upon herself to bring this stuff to my house. Can I ask her to take it back? No. My father would likely have a stroke from having to load all that crap back up. So much for putting up my lights. I have a system and they will likely screw it up. I bite my inner cheek as my mother orchestrates the erection (ha!) of the glorious Winter Wonderland scene in my front yard. I pull out my trusty Little Giant Adjustable Ladder (also made famous about this time last year) and proceed to place cup hooks on a certain part of my house that I cannot use my handy-dandy-swear-inducing light hooks on. And I refuse to staple gun the stupid light strings up again. I will soon pierce the cancer causing protective covering and electrocute my self! As I am earnestly laboring, dripping blood from a staple induced injury (didn't remove them last year, just pulled on the light string 'til they popped...I was so over Christmas by then), my mother asks what I'm doing. Deep breath. Just putting up cup hooks so I don't have to staple my light string. My mother then says, "Well, I thought with these up, you wouldn't have to put up lights." What she meant was, I think these are a fine decoration and cease from decorating your house the way you want because my ideas are vastly superior. Never mind that SoS has been mewling like a starving kitten every day, because all the neighbors have their lights up and we still have pilgrims and autumn festival items bedecking our abode. Profound deep breath. Count to 10. Have to start over. Finally eke out, "Well, I like my lights." Clench teeth and cause massive headache. So, I guess the report of 30-40 mph winds tonight did not reach the ears of my omniscient mother cuz these white bastards have fallen over several times. I went to unplug them tonight and it looked like my yard was the scene of a massive logging expedition and deer massacre. It's like 14 degrees out there, wind blowing, slush falling from the skies and I'm trying to figure out how to put this deer, that is now in 3 distinct pieces, back together. I contemplate ditching the antlers and making the damn thing a doe, when the long buried (and freezing) analytical part of my brain says "it goes this way, nimrod!" and I am able to put them all to bed for the night. I see much deer induced angst in my future.