Thursday, 27 November 2014

Trucks and Trees by Susan L.

  There's been several trucks passing by the house laden with Christmas Trees being shipped into the city. This is a big area for tree farms. The mostly sandy soil is ideal for pine and spruce so there are acres and acres of them everywhere.
  It's been years since a real tree has graced my living room. I bought a tall and slender artificial one my first Christmas in the house. Its small diameter is more suited to the scale of my living room.
  When the kids were little we'd go and cut our own. The farm would have tractor and wagon to take  budding lumberjacks out into the fields. It was even better if it was a team of horses like some places have. Their breath would rise in steamy clouds as they patiently pulled the wagon.
  The kids had a lot of fun running back and forth trying to choose the one that was perfect. We tried to encourage them to pick one fairly close to where the wagon would pick us up. A fresh cut tree is rather heavy. There was usually a concession stand selling hot dogs and hot drinks, a must have before heading home with the big prize: the best tree of the lot. A large bonfire would help thaw frozen toes and runny noses. Hot chocolate never tasted so good!
  Getting it home was part of the grand adventure. There are these big doughnut things that wrap the trees in mesh making it easier to tie down. We rarely bothered with that because we didn't have far to travel. We'd put the tree in the back of the van or the trunk of the car with its own trunk poking out. Tying it to the roof was another option. I preferred the tree to be outside the vehicle because come spring, vacuuming needles out of the carpet was a laborious task.
  In fact, cleaning fallen needles up in the house was a task that lasted 'til spring. There was always a few left no matter how carefully I cleaned. It's like finding the hidden Easter egg the following January. I'm ever so grateful for artificial trees that are looking more real as the years go by. Perhaps at some point I'll replace the one I have with one that has the lights built in.
  The tree looked twice as big in the living room than appeared to be out in the open. We had some mighty big ones that swallowed up most of the room. The tip of the star on top would touch the ceiling. We learned to tie these monsters to a hook in the ceiling to prevent them falling over. It happens. Tree stands never worked no matter how carefully designed they were so we used a big bucket of sand and bricks to weigh the thing down.
  There's many a memory been stirred up. Some are good, some not so good. I think I'll set those aside and focus on the best of times.
  "Therefore say, "Thus says the Lord God: Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone."" Ez 11:16

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