We had tough time finding a Christmas tree this year. On Sunday we drove sixty miles to the tree farm we discovered last year near the Wisconsin border. The tree farm is 350 acres. There had to be a tree that was just perfect, but if there was, we didn’t find it. We trudged for hours. Too short, bad color, bad shape, too gappy. It wasn’t just us, either. We kept seeing the same people wandering around, treeless.
As we were beginning to wear down, heading into yet another field, we met a man and his son leaving that area empty-handed. “Any good trees back there?” my husband asked. “No,” said the man. “We’re heading across the road.” There was another, newer area there. Well, by this time, we were beat. The fun had begun to wear off, and my son said he didn’t care anymore, we should just get a tree. So we went into the area forsaken by the man and his son and found a fir that was tall, had good color and shape but, like so many of the trees at the farm, had grown too closely to another tree and had a kind of baldish area on one side. No problem, we thought, we’ll just put that side in the back.
At 1:25 Monday morning, Alfie gave a sharp bark and rushed to our bedroom door. “It’s all right, Alfie,” I murmured. “Go back to sleep.” Within seconds, our daughter had rushed to our door. “Did you hear that crash?” she asked as she turned on our light. My bleary eyes opened to the glare of the light as the realization hit. Oh no. My husband, daughter, and I headed downstairs and, sure enough, the Christmas tree – all nine feet of it – lay on its side on the living room floor. Water was running across the floorboards to pool by the baseboard. Broken ornaments littered the rug. An Old World pocketwatch was shattered, a fabulous pink flamingo wearing a Santa hat was reduced to only a head and neck, several ornaments lost feet, and a number of other glass ornaments were just shards.
Almost two hours later, the tree was righted, the water was mopped, the glass was cleaned up, and the tree was anchored via fishing line to a nail hastily driven into the window woodwork. My husband says the baldish area made the tree weighted too heavily to the front, and that’s why it fell over. That, combined with the heavier ornament count on the front, was enough to do it in. So now, the tree is leaning drunkenly backward toward the window, but it’s only noticeable from the side. And, really, who cares?
Luckily, the lights still work and we only lost a relatively small number of ornaments. The fact that much of the tree hit the living room rug surely helped avert a larger disaster. We’ve learned an important lesson. Steer clear of misshapen trees and hedge your bets with some fishing line.
|the tree who lived|