Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Back to the Woods!

Tree Farm

It's 12.12.12 today.

But no one seems to be making a big deal out of it...not like last year's 11.11.11.

Not sure why.

Maybe we've all been hammered to death with so much of this stuff lately that we've become immune to it or something.

Maybe 13.13.13 will be a little more exciting.

You know? house is inundated with the smell of pine, which, while unusual, is certainly not unpleasant.

Well, I guess it’s not really all that unusual since there is a rather large freshly cut pine tree sitting in the corner of the living room, where it magically appears every year around this time.

Well, I guess not magically, since of course it wouldn’t be the holiday season if we didn’t drive up, deep into the Connecticut woods to find and cut down our annual Christmas tree.

And of course, if it wasn’t the holiday season, our chances of being arrested for trespassing and property defacement, would go up significantly.

So let’s just say…lesson learned.

People always ask me what kind of tree we select, to which I usually say…

“I don’t know….”
It's some kind of Fir...I think.  Maybe a Balsam or a Douglas or a Fraser...maybe even a Niles.

What I do know is it can’t be too prickly, or too soft, or too flimsy…and it usually has small little pine cones scattered about its branches.
So it probably isn't a Niles.

Oh and  it has to be green…preferably.

As usual, Z and I got off to an early start on this much anticipated Saturday morn and immediately headed north up the parkway to keep our annual appointment with Mike, that big ‘ol Ox.


Mike really is an Ox.

The weather wasn’t the greatest as we rolled up the hill and onto the farm. The parking area was pretty empty so we were able to park right by Mike and his pal Pat.  A thrill for us, but I’m guessing not so much for Pat and Mike, since Mike seemed to remember me from that incident last year with the bowling pin.

Previous Snowy Visit
But this was a new year and I was determined that things were going to be different. We weren’t going to second guess ourselves, walking around in circles all morning checking out this tree and that in search of the flawless tree.

This year, the first good tree we saw we were going for.

Plus it was a bit on the wet, misty side and my boots weren’t all that water proof.

A good plan…right?

Except, of course we found several trees we liked within the first five minutes, but continued to walk around in circles all morning checking out this tree and that in search of the flawless tree…anyway.

It wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t.

Besides, you really can’t rush into these things too hastily, since rushing in and of itself would indicate haste and seems redundant…which I can’t say enough.

The thing is, sometimes you find what you think is perfect, become cautiously optimistic, and then find a pine cone out of place, on the third branch from the middle…left…and you have no choice but to move on.

That’s just how it is with tree hunting.

You don’t know until you know.

You know?

I have to say the fields were pretty bare this year, so the pickings were a bit sparse…much more so than I recall from the past.

Not sure why.

Perhaps after last year’s story that highlighted our adventure in detail, hit the newsstands, there was a run on the place by a whole new wave of merry tree hunters hoping to duplicate our experience, which would be possible only to a degree, mostly because I left out the part about the hot butter rum and the Chicklets….for obvious reasons.

Either that or the “super storm” did a number on the place, just like it did everywhere else.

In any case, luckily, we do have a knack for zeroing in on just the perfect tree…eventually…and crowd or no crowd, slim picking or not…we did it again.

Well, Z did it again…and I approved…which may or may not actually be necessary, but I at least get the option.

We could tell it was an older tree—which as you know—are always harder to find a home for than the younger cuter trees—by the thickness of its sizable trunk.

Luckily I had just purchased a new and improved hand saw …which is only as good as the endurance of the hand attached…the position of the body attached to that hand...and the relative dryness of the field that the body attached to the hand is positioned in.

And while I didn’t exactly make fast work of the cutting, we did enjoy a nice lunch…and late afternoon snack…and made friends with the guy who chased everyone off the farm at closing time.

But it was all worth it and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without this particular adventure to get the Little Red Christmas Ball rolling.

Now…all I have to remember is to adhere to the strict watering schedule that Z has in place, which I usually do since the consequences are…unpleasant…if I don’t.

For both me and the tree.

Let the decorating begin!

From the Archive of Retort

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