Posted tagged ‘directions’

“Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?”

December 10, 2012

Last night it started raining and it has yet to stop. I find rain a bit dismal this time of year as I always think of Christmas as snow time. Maybe it’s the carols that have me hoping for an inch or two or Santa’s sleigh or how pretty the snow looks. I remember looking out the window and seeing snow falling and yelling in excitement for everyone to come and see.

Today I’m bringing you the story of my Christmas tree. I bought it yesterday, and it is beautiful, shorter than usual but just as full. I went to Hart Farm, and that wasn’t easy. You can no longer get there from here. The bridge right before Hart’s is closed for repair so that means going all the way around on Route 28, my least favorite road, but Gracie and I made the trek anyway. Walking among the Christmas trees made it all worthwhile. The smell was wonderful, and I found 2 trees, either of which could grace my living room. The man who works there is a former student, and I asked which of the trees he’d choose. One, he said, would shed its needles quickly but the other would keep them. It was an easy choice; of course, the price was hefty on the second one, but I bought it anyway, and I also bought a centerpiece of boxwood. The tree was put in my trunk and all the way home I had to hear the beep, beep, beep, the incessant beep of my car telling me the trunk was open. Did you notice it was all the way home, the long way.

I got home and tried to get the tree out of the trunk. It was stuck, but I yanked and pulled and got it out, leaned it against the car then decided to attach the new tree stand before bringing the tree inside the house. I bought the new tree stand anticipating a smaller tree. The stand fit but wouldn’t go up the trunk far enough so the tree could have water. Two nubs of branches were in the way. I cursed as I took the stand off and then went down the cellar to get the other tree stand, the stand easy enough for one person to use. I attached the bottom of the stand to the trunk then carried the tree into the house. No, carry is wrong. I lifted and stopped, lifted and stopped because of the weight of the tree. A few times the tree wouldn’t move; I couldn’t lift it. I finally figured out that’s what happens when you step on lower branches. At last the tree made it to the living room. Three low branches were broken, stepped on too many times. I lifted the tree, put in into the stand then moved it around until it was straight. I pushed in the pedal which secures the tree in place then got the funnel with the long tube. That’s new this year. It for watering the tree so I don’t have to crawl on my stomach to give it water. I hid the tube in the branches then sat on the couch to fill the funnel with water when all of a sudden the tree started to lean. I thought it would fall so I grabbed it. The funnel filled with water angled when the tree leaned and spilled water all over the floor and all over me. I cursed, cleaned up the mess and was about ready to turn this tree into a yule log but decided to try again. I went down the cellar to get a dry sweatshirt and the directions for the tree stand. Ah, the directions, why didn’t she get them in the first place. She didn’t get them because she thought she remembered how to use the stand. Wrong!

I lifted the tree out of the stand, pulled out the pedal as directed, held my foot on it, a step I hadn’t done the first time, and then placed the tree back into the stand and moved it until it was straight then I pushed in the pedal. The tree stayed straight and tall. I stopped cursing.

The tree is sitting in the middle of my living room as I have to move a few small pieces of furniture before it can sit in its rightful place then the decorating will begin. I’m betting the finished tree will make everything worthwhile.


“Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.”

October 25, 2011

Rain is coming later in the week, but for now I get to enjoy the sunshine and the coolness of a beautiful fall day. We did get out for a bit yesterday, but I ran into friends whom I haven’t seen in ages, and we chatted for a long while so I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped. Today Gracie and I will go down Cape; yesterday we went up Cape. For those of you wondering what directions I’m describing down-Cape means toward P-Town and up-Cape means toward the bridge. If anyone asked me east or west, I’d be hard pressed to answer.

When I visit Colorado, I ask how far to get somewhere, and they always answer in miles. Here when asked the same question we answer in time. How far to Boston from the cape elicits the response of about an hour and fifteen minutes, but it could be longer depending upon the traffic. In Colorado they’d tell me about 72 miles.

When I traveled in Ghana, the distance was measured in kilometers. I had no idea how far away anything really was. My mind worked only in miles so I always had to convert kilometers to miles. I learned to multiply by .6 so I’d figure out how far away I was from my destination.

Ghana, like Massachusetts, is also a time place. I had no idea the actual distance between Accra and Bolgatanga, but I know it takes 16 hours by bus. I know because that’s what the Ghanaians told me when I asked how far between Bolga and Accra. Later I looked it up and found it was 810 kilometers which didn’t make sense until I figured out it was 486 miles. It may seem like it takes forever by bus, and it does.

Once, when my parents and I were in Germany, my inner race car driver came out while I was driving on the autobahn. There I was driving at 80 MPH and getting passed. I knew this was my opportunity to be Mario Andretti without risking a ticket so I drove between 90 to 100 but I still got passed. My mother commented we seem to be going really fast and kept looking at the speedometer. I told her it was in kilometers, a bold face lie with good intentions, and explained how to convert and I mentioned that we were being passed by other cars going much faster. That seemed to calm her, and I got to be Mario for just a little while.

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