Last Friday, I had the day off from work. And it turned out to be Christmas tree day.
My mother's house has a cathedral ceiling. Every year, it is my sister's quest to find a tall, full tree for the living room with the cathedral ceiling. Every year, this also requires finding somebody with a truck who is willing to haul the giant tree from wherever it happens to be to their house. This year, that person (my parents' neighbor) happened to be available on Friday afternoon at 3pm. So on Friday afternoon at 1pm, we get in the car to find a Christmas tree at the local tree farm. Actually we are searching for three trees. A large and smaller one for my parents house, and a middle size one for my house. I have a Chevy Prizm and therefore can not haul on my own any tree larger than a Charlie Brown tree.
So we get to the Christmas tree farm. The owner offers us a hacksaw. I get to carry the hacksaw. Jupiter amuses herself by tramping through all the mud she can find. Mud, Mud, she loves Mud. She's absolutely positively wild about Mud. (Hello, Rick Charrette.) My sister finds a tree for my house first. My mother and I crawl next to the tree, lay down flat on the ground next to the tree, and start trying to saw the tree down. Wonder of wonders, the tree falls down. I haul it out of the row to the road where the owner said he will drive down and pick up the tree. We leave the tree and go in search of the really big tree. All the trees are the same price, by the way. Which is a great deal if you're in the market for a really big tree.
Finally my sister finds two or three trees she's interested in. She spends a lot of time trying to determine which one will look the best. She points to one, and we climb down in the mud and grass again to saw some more. This tree is a lot bigger. It takes longer. We have to stop to rest a few times. Jupiter finds some more mud and puddles to climb through. Finally it falls down. We rest some more. Then we haul it out just as the tree man comes along with his gator looking for us. He throws the giant tree into the gator trailor and asks us where the other tree is.
Good question. We start looking for the other tree. My sister takes Jupiter and the hacksaw and starts looking for the third tiny tree. My mother and I search through the fields for the tree we already cut down. We wonder if some other people happened by the tree and said "Wow. What a nice tree already cut down. We'll take it.". But eventually we do find the tree. The tree man loads it into his gator trailor and hauls it back up to the front of the field. Then we search for my sister and Jupiter.
We find them, but my sister has lost the hacksaw. So we look for that. When we find that, we look for the tiny tree. She finds one, and I have to try two or three angles to cut it, as it is growing very close to some other trees.
We load the tiny tree into the trunk of the car and the middle size tree on top of my mother's Impala. ( I feel like I'm doing a rewrite of Goldilocks and the three bears.) and advise the tree man that we will be back with the truck for the big tree. We bring the middle size tree to my house. We try to cut off the end again so it will be nice and fresh, but I only have a minature hacksaw which is not effective, so we borrow a handsaw from the neighbors. Then we bring the tree inside. I have underestimated how much room I will need to bring in the tree, and we knock over a mirror, a stack of photo albums, a side table, and a lamp. We jam the tree in the stand and pour in some water. Then my mom and my sister (my father has the good sense to be in California during this project) go with the truck neighbor to get the big tree.
They get back late. The truck neighbor decided to cut a tree for himself while they were at the tree farm. He offers to help bring the tree in but being Independent Maine Women, we decline. Then we start hacksawing at the end of the tree. By now I am very tired of hacksawing. My arms, actually are very tired of hacksawing. I'm getting tired of trees, period. After much sawing and swearing we get the tree flat in the stand and drag it in the house. We push the tree up. It's not straight. It requires a lot of adjusting and turning. It is very heavy. I start to glare whenever turning or adjusting is suggested. But eventually, everyone is satisfied. We break to drink five gallons of water apiece and have something to eat.
Note: if you go to a farm to cut down the Christmas tree, the tree will look bigger in your living room than it looks in the actual field. Pick something that seems a little bit small.
The tree is so big we have to bring the extension ladder in the house so I can climb up and stick the angel on the top of the tree. Then we do the lights. By now it's after 7pm. After they're plugged in, some of the lights don't light up. A big invisible thought bubble of bad words rises above my head, but fortunately with some jiggling, the lights think better of being difficult and light up all on their own.
Jupiter and I go home and collapse into bed. We have a busy schedule of performing arts to attend over the weekend, and we need our sleep.
2 days ago