The first year in our farm home, hubby had not yet retired and moved to join me in the mountains. Eldest son and his family were still working on the house and lived with me. We moved into the house in September and this was to be the first Christmas and for the first time in my entire life, I had a room that soared to the heavy timber beams supporting the roof two stories up. I drive a Honda CRV, and though son had a huge diesel truck, it really wasn’t designed for a passenger, the driver and a car seat, as my grandson was less than 2 years old at the time. We hopped in my car and set out for the tree lot. At the time, I didn’t know that Christmas trees are a cash crop around here and that there are several cut your own lots within about 10 miles. We drove into the town to a lot that is run by a local farm and as soon as we drove up, I pointed to a huge tree, at least 10 feet tall and said, “I want that one!” Son looked at me like I had lost my mind and asked if I was sure. I repeated, “I want that one!” By now, the lot attendant’s son, a teenager had sauntered over and he also looked at me like I had lost it completely and said, “Ma’am, do you know how tall that tree is?”
I knew exactly how tall that tree was and also knew that it would fit even if it was 12 feet tall. Son and the attendant managed to tie it to the top of my car and home it came. It did fit. It was glorious. The living room was only half furnished as I had brought half of the furniture to the mountains and the other half had been used to furnish the apartment that hubby and youngest son were residing in on the coast until hubby retired.
Subsequent years, there have been live trees, a couple of which have survived the time indoors and the planting outdoors and are now fairly large. There have been trips to one of the local cut your own lots with trees sometimes only 6 feet and not too pretty, sometimes large full trees.
Today was scheduled to be the day to go cut our tree. Yesterday was warm and would have been a good day to do it, but it didn’t fit into the schedule. Last night the temperature plummeted, it rained, then snowed a bit and the wind picked up. Today it is cold, and windy. We went into town and had breakfast out and over the last of the repast, discussed where we were going to get the tree. Hubby has been a bit under the weather for the past several days with a head cold and didn’t really feel like walking acres of trees looking for the right one to have cut, so we elected to go back to “The Lot of the infamous first tree.” There was a 9 footer in the same place as that first tree, but I really didn’t want to expend that much effort this year as we are so late putting it up. A healthy, heavy and full 6 plus footer was found and tied on the car to be brought home for decorating.
Our tradition beginning the first year we were together in 1977, has been to get an ornament together and if it isn’t dated, we put a date on it. It is exciting to pull them out and remember where we were that year and what significant event may have occurred as the ornament is hung on the tree.
Normally we don’t travel much, but this year has been an exception starting with a ski trip last February to Steamboat Springs, Colorado; a family reunion for my Dad’s 90th birthday and the baptism of two of our grandchildren in August in the northern Shenandoah area; a Bahamas cruise with our youngest son and his family in October; and lastly our early December trip to Mexico. Two of these trips have resulted in souvenirs that we utilized on the tree. This year’s tree topper is a huge starfish that our youngest son’s family bought for us on the Bahamas cruise.
It seemed an appropriate tree topper, especially as our older electric one no longer is safe when plugged in. Our annual ornament is a painted pottery bell from Mexico that we simply added the date to it.
The tree could be much larger, but it is beautifully decorated, fills the space allotted it well, now that we have all the furniture in one location again.
Even if we do have to rearrange and move a table and rocking chair. Though, I only put out about half of my Santas this year, the house is festive and waiting for visiting family to warm the space and share the season.
Life is good on our mountain farm.