Friday, December 2, 2011

To the Woods!

So it’s officially Decembrrrrrrrr, the last and usually the brrrr-iest of the brrrrrrrrrrr months. 

There's a bit of a brrrrrrr in the air this morning, but so far it’s been pretty De-balmy outside.  In fact my lawn is still pretty De-green, still De-growing, and I don’t think it’s all that De-happy about it.

It should have been well into its long winter’s snooze by now; and it’s not alone by any stretch. Walking through the neighborhood, yesterday morning, the scent of freshly mown lawn mixed with pine and frasier fir was definitely in the air.

Of course, we did have a white October this year so I guess a green December is par for the course.  Then again, who would be surprised if we had 6 inches of snow on the ground by this time tomorrow?

I know that’s a real possibility because this weekend we’ll be taking our 11th annual ride to the woods of Connecticut where we'll cut down this year’s Christmas tree. I suppose we could skip this year’s tree and just cut down next year’s tree, along with the following year's, while we're at it, but that would be odd…even for us.

Besides, Z and I actually look forward to this annual tradition; especially the semi-frozen donuts, with which we celebrate the completion of another successful hunt, standing alongside a large can 'o fire and the big ox who has an unfortunate problem with flatulence.

But that can actually work in one’s favor sometimes….

It’s alwasy a fun outing as we get to jump on a big hay wagon and play with the ticks as we wind up the side of MT. Kilimanjaro, past the Sherpa’s and Noah’s Ark, until we get dropped off into this giant field of evergreens where we, along with a lot of other confused looking people, wander around aimlessly for a couple of hours in search of the perfect tree.

I find it best not to force the hunt, but instead adopt kind of a Zen attitude towards the whole thing. Become one with the trees and just go where the flow takes you…which, for me, is usually back to the donut shack.  But hey, trees have to eat too, you know. 

Of course, like most important decisions in life you usually end up selecting the first tree that caught your eye 3 hours before, which you initially rejected because it was slightly too big, had a slight tilt to the left, or it was in a previous relationship that you weren’t sure had actually least on an emotional level.

We used to go up to this particular farm with a bunch of friends, who actually introduced us to the joy of tree picking. 

Previous to that we kept our tree in a box in the attic.  But now we’re all gung ho ho ho about holiday deforestation.

Unfortunately, one year, all of the other folks wandered off into the woods and we’ve never seen them again. We look for them every year, but to no avail.

I think they may have actually passed into another dimension…perhaps one where the trees do the picking and the people serve as holiday decor. 

But that's just me...

Z says they may have disappeared because of my repeated renditions of “Oh Holy Night!” on the way up in the car, and my constant jabbering about how you can buy these things already cut, in one place, without climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or trekking through the forest….

But Z doesn’t have my imagination.

And we have trekked in years past…yes, indeed, we have trekked. 

One year there was about a foot of snow on the ground. Well maybe 4 inches but it might just as well have been a foot.  Try lying on your belly in that while you hack through a tree trunk the size of a giant redwood. 

Well maybe the size of a giant pencil, but it might just as well have been a giant redwood, especially since the saw I use is basically about 30 years old and has difficulty slicing butter, let alone a tree. I’ve been meaning to replace it, but since I only use it for this one instance, on this one occasion, once every year, it’s not exactly on the top of my to do list…if I had a to do list.

But one of these years…. 

Once the selected tree has been excised from its earthly bonds and put on its rightful path to decorating our living room, we tag it and drag it out to the side of the little path and await the tree hauler who throws it up on the back of the small flatbed with all the other so honored trees.  Then the little fella is brought down Kilimanjaro and run thru this big tree stringer contraption and shrunk down to the size of a closed umbrella, while Z and I warm our hands over the previously mentioned can 'o fire and defrost the semi-frozen donuts while filling our bellies with hot chocolate.

The tree stringer is actually pretty nifty since it allows me to avoid that whole tying the tree to the roof of the car thing, which I tried once, only to discover that trees don't handle the hot carnauba wax cycle in the car wash all that well.  

Now, the whole tree actually fits nicely in the back of my little hatchback; and no matter what they say, driving with an evergreen branch boring into your eardrum is not at all distracting.

In fact it’s quite exhilarating.

All in all, as I said in the beginning, I do admit to looking forward to this annual holiday deforestation trip.  It kind of brings out my primal holiday instincts, which the lady in the puffy down coat and that little, yapping Bichon Frise had a problem with that one year.

But that’s a story for another time.


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