Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor
On our way back from a friend’s “celebration of life” in Marion, my wife, my 12-year-old son and I passed a sign that said “cut your own Christmas tree.”
As we whizzed by, I said, “We don’t have a tree yet, let’s turn around and cut our own.” I mean we had talked about buying an artificial tree, but all three of us agreed, it was better to have the real deal.
We pulled up to the sales trailer, honked our horn and were greeted by the proprietor. He looked us over quizzically, realizing we weren’t dressed for a romp in the snow.
“He said, do you have a saw?” I looked dumbfounded, “of course not.” He then said “You’re going to need gloves. It’s mighty cold and wet out there.” Again I was clueless. We didn’t have a single glove between the three of us. Thankfully he took off the pair he was wearing and tossed them to me. He had an extra saw as well, and pointed us in the direction of the best trees.
After spending about fifteen minutes driving around and trying to decide which tree would work best in our house, we decided on a tree that appeared to have a good shape, was taller than we had wanted, but would suit our needs. I got the saw and cut it down in no time.
Funny, it looked so much larger once it was cut and laying on the ground. Again as ill-prepared as ever, we had no rope to tie it to the top of the SUV, so we began shoving- yes, literally shoving, the tree into the back of the SUV.
We shoved and shoved, tugged and tugged, and what seemed like forever, finally got half the tree in the SUV. The other half would have to stick out, as we made our fifteen mile trek home. It was decided we would take the back roads- flying down 127 at 70 mph with a tree hanging out probably wasn’t very safe.
We got the tree home without incident. Getting it inside the house and on a tree stand was much different. First we again had to shove and pull the tree through the front door. It wasn’t going to go, until we took the hinges off, and gave one final massive push from the three of us. Ta da- it was in the house.
The next task was to get the humungous tree on the tree stand. As I’m lying on the floor, covered in snow and tree sap, trying desperately to hold the tree up, and adjust the tree so it stays upright in the stand, I yearned for that simple, easy artificial tree.
After about an hour the tree was standing upright. All three of us were totally exhausted and decided to wait until the next day to decorate. We admired the trees size. We were shooting for a 6 or 7 footer, but this tree measured every bit of 12 feet. No wonder it was difficult to get into the car, the house and the tree stand.
We decided to retire for the evening. Half way through the night I heard a big kaboom. The dogs barked crazily, and I awoke rubbing my eyes and stumbling out to the living room. There was the 12-footer on its side stretching all the way across the room. The hour spent fitting the monster into the tree stand, obviously was not time well spent. It came down in less than eight hours.
My first inclination was to drag the tree outside and go to the nearest store and buy that artificial tree we had rejected. But cooler temperament prevailed and I worked the tree back in to the stand. We stood it up and decorated it. It’s now nearly a week later, and the tree is still standing. It might make it to Christmas, yet.