Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The weather outside is frightful

Christmas scene
Each year at this time I swear I am going to get a smaller tree next year. I’m not young and spry anymore and hoisting the critter onto the top of the car, wrestling with the saw to clean-cut the bottom and then staggering up the stairs to my second floor apartment with the tree grabbing at every step to prevent me from keeping forward momentum is truly exhausting. So, with JT’s Christmas album on the CD player and the tree now sitting comfortably in its green plastic stand, happily nursing up copious amounts of warm water, I am at rest in my recliner and making these few notes.

It really is a nice little tree, Charlie Brown. I tell the poor, toothless young man who sold me this baby for $28 (I gave him $35) that he could sell this same tree in New York City for a hundred bucks. He gasps in disbelief and I see the remains of his rotten teeth; I’m hoping the takes the extra few bucks and finds a dentist.

I buy my tree from the same place each year, from the same kid, and I tell him the same thing. Fifteen, no make that sixteen years ago that young man was a boy of about 12 years and was shocked when I gave him a tip to carry the tree to the car. He had a full set of teeth then. Years of candy bars and soda pop no doubt. He tells me this year he will use the money to buy something for his unborn baby who will be arriving in the spring. What can you say to that?

I recall the scene in Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story when the family goes down to the local Xmas Tree emporium to haggle with a savvy and feisty salesman. The Old Man thinks he’s getting the better deal, but we know better.

I will have none of that. This tree really is worth a lot more than what I pay for it; maybe not a hundred bucks, but at least $60 - $70. It’s just that we live here in Maine among forest of trees and this baby probably spent its life growing just a few miles down the road.

We had about three inches of fluffy white snow today. Two days ago it rained three inches and yesterday – the transition day back to winter – I was walking around in sneakers. It’s boots and scarves today, the air a frigid 17 and everything white.

My tree was completely covered with the white stuff at the Christmas tree lot so I have it standing in the window with a couple of sheets of black plastic underneath. The sound of the dripping has slowed and the fragrance of pine has now joyfully filled the room.

I am not sure if I will decorate the tree tonight. I may want to let it dry out more before crawling around with electric wires and such. We’ll see.

Well, JT is done and I have to go back out in the arctic freeze to get stuff for supper. Keep warm. I’ll post a photo of the tree when it’s all decorated.

Image credit: Licensed by Creative Commons by Hiking Artist

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