Posted tagged ‘tree stand’

“The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature.”

December 5, 2014

I have already been out and about this morning and will go back out later. The day is chilly but not cold, in the mid 40’s. On my journey, I saw people wearing all sorts of outer garb including puffy jackets, sweatshirts, vests, just plain shirts and one guy in a t-shirt. I was among the vest wearers.

Gracie just brought me the most disgusting chew I’ve seen in a long while. It was crusted in dirt. She obviously had buried it in the backyard and now had a hankering to eat it. She dropped it at my feet, a gift of sorts I suppose. I took it in the kitchen and scrubbed it. The dirt swirled in the sink then went down the drain. I dried it as best I could and gave it to Gracie who wouldn’t take it. Maybe without the dirt it had lost its appeal. A bit later she went back and smelled it and decided it was okay. She is now eating it beside me on the couch. When I put things away for safe keeping, they often end up lost for good. I should have Gracie bury them for me. She never forgets.

The tree always went in the same corner, where the TV usually was. My father would lie on the floor to turn the screws on the tree stand while one of us tried to hold the tree straight and upright. He’d say let go, and when we did, the tree would sometimes lean. We’d hold it again, and he’d try to tighten the screws even more, this time with a screw driver to turn the metal loops. When the tree stayed straight, it was time for the lights. My dad always had tangled lights, and they always drove him crazy. It would take him a while to untangle the mess of all those sets. He was never patient. Once he’d finished that, he’d check to see if the strands would light. If they didn’t, he’d try to figure out which bulb had died. He was smart about that and would replace all the bulbs then check the ones he’d removed one at a time. When it was time to put them on the tree, he was always haphazard about it. My mother would say let the lights drape from branch to branch, but my father never did. He just walked around the tree and put the lights wherever. His only Christmas responsibilities, the outside lights, the tree and inside lights, were complete. He’d then watch TV. The rest was up to us.

“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.