Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Catastro-tree.

Despite my somewhat OCD characteristics, I'm not actually all that big on traditions. I enjoy switching things up from time to time.  I don't like feeling chained to an activity nor arbitrarily assigning sentiment to something just because we did it the last three years in a row. I already commit to WAYYY too many things to add yet another item to my many self-appointed obligations. That being said, I LOVE to cut down our own Christmas tree. Open fields for the boys to run. Seeing the tree up and standing, living, growing in all it's glory. Inspecting each tree, imagining it in our living room, decorated and surrounded by love, gifts, merriment.
We began this tradition before we got married. Before iPhones. Perhaps a photo exists somewhere from that 2006 Christmas. It took on a whole new meaning in 2008, when we searched for a tree with a 4-week old Brock strapped to my chest in the Bjorn. I will never forget that trip. Or any of them, really. The year Curtis was born, it was so cold that we literally cut down the first tree we saw, and turned right back around. To this day, I still think that was our most perfect tree. The year George was born, the weather was gorgeous! We went in nothing but sweaters and jeans. Each year, is unique in some way, memorable, and fun. This year? This year was special too. Real special.

The boys took an exceptionally late nap, we were waiting, and waiting for Mitch, Curtis and George to finally wake up, so we could get to the tree farm before it closed at 5pm. By the time they awoke, we had rounded them all up, changed diapers, shoed, hooded, and coated them all, we were walking out the door at 4:07pm. It's a 36 minute drive. We needed gas. Of course. Matt then stopped by our still-not-sold previous home, to open the garage, there-by interrupt the agent showing the place, to run in and grab the chainsaw battery.

We pull into the tree farm at 4:47pm. As I get the boys out and situated, Matt gets our tree ticket. It's kind of misting, a tid chilly, definitely muddy, and Curtis and George have decided they are terrified of tractors. Mitch is tucked safely away in the wagon, along-side the chainsaw. What!? The baby is by the chainsaw!? Whatever, I don't have time to worry about this hazard. We truck it to a patch of trees. All too small. But perfect for a picture. I insist we take 2 minutes to set up the timer and snap a shot. So we do. Another patch. Too dead. Any further and we will never make it back by 5pm. Then we see it. Not perfect, but it appeared usable. But we ventured on, hoping for better. There were none. We circled back. By this time, all 4 boys were out and about wandering. I rounded them all up, carrying a P'O'd and squirming Mitch (he insists he is a "big boy" now) back to our tree. Mitch and George watched Matt fell the tree with the chainsaw. Mitch, decided the falling tree meant certain death and began crying and pacing in circles.

We dragged the tree to the tractor path, I stowed George, Mitch AND the chainsaw back into the wagon, and we trucked it to the office. Only once we all got to the cashier, did I notice that Mitch was missing a shoe and had an extremely wet foot. Crap. Forget about it. That shoe has been through 4 children, and I think I paid $4 for them at Target in 2009. I'm just leaving it. I pay for the tree. But I know EXACTLY where we cut down the tree, I'm sure that's were it fell off. Damn, OCD. I'm going back out there. I sprint BACK to the tree stump, Matt rounds up the kids. We are the last people at the place. No luck, no shoe. I get back to the van and they are all waiting for me with the receipt and tree stub!! Oops. The employees kindly load the tree on our van. And...I have no cash!! We made them all stay late, and we had NO tip!!!! I promise I am mailing cash, with the date, for the proper people to get a tip.
 Four days later, we bring the tree into the house. It's really crooked. It's huge. It's completely unstable. Matt did A LOT of cursing while trying to get it properly in the stand. As I type, I fear for the life of Berry who is happily sleeping on the couch adjacent to the tree. We did lots of trimming. I am pretty sure we found a huge spider's nest that we chucked out the front door. We should have torched it. The center is filled with dead pine needles, and I don't want to think about what else...probably more spider eggs. *shiver* There is a somewhat large space deficit, that I will attempt to repair with some clever finagling of the lights. Berry thinks the needles and branches are chewable. I bought candy canes, because Brock kept insisting we needed them to decorate the tree, and that's all the boys can think about. They keep touching the package. The tree isn't even up and Curtis is all but trying to hang them!
I am too tired to hang the lights tonight. I mean, the tree is giant. We have 11 foot ceilings. I have to buy more anyway, and Target was OUT of "warm" white lights today. Of course. I fear hanging any "valuable" ornaments on this tree, I'm not sure the karma is so great. I think we shall name it Murphy. Everything about this tree has been rushed, and difficult, and not ideal. Far from ideal. Then again, so has most of 2014. Perhaps, this tree called to us, because it is US. Total chaos. And we love it.

No comments: