It is 1 degree outside when I awake! And….it is the day set aside for the adventure, so I don gloves, scarf, hat, boots, sweater and a puffy coat in order to make the quest tolerable and by mid-morning we are on our way to find the perfect Christmas tree for our new home! I am excited for the adventure because this year will be unique and fun. We are going to get a BIG tree. Not 8 feet big, but really big, like when I was a kid and my dad would toggle the top of tree off to the side of house Big!
The truck is warm and the attitude is anticipatory and with coffee cup in gloved hand we drive to what has become ‘our’ Christmas tree lot. We have bought two previous Christmas trees at this establishment and somewhere in the back of my mind I think it will probably be like going to our favorite bar. They will probably call us by name and have the perfect tree all picked out and waiting for us! They may even offer us a warm adult beverage or cookie. Isn’t that how these things work? I am kind of new to this whole ‘real’ Christmas tree thing. We drive with the heat blowing full throttle in the truck and pieces of my hair poking from below my hat dancing and flying as if in a sun drenched breeze, only adding to the excitement of it all. But as we pull into the parking area of the Christmas tree lot I do a quick inventory and realize we are the only patrons to be seen. A quick glance at the dash board reminds me that it is 2 degrees outside.
I look sideways at the Cowboy. He loving looks my way, knowing that I hate being cold. Together we turn and look out at the trees. Most of them are around 5 feet tall. He pulls the truck closer to the entrance. One single tree stands above the rest. It looks to be 10 feet tall although,as a girl I have never been good at judging these types of things. We sit and stare at the tree. It is a little sparse in spots and looks as if it leans a bit to the left, but its tall and I’m warm and so it is decided, from inside the warm cab of the Cowboys truck that this is the perfect tree for us. We get out just long enough to read the tag which says 14 ft/ $135 and tell the person dressed so thick in winter gear that I am unsure whether to say thank you mam’ or thank you sir, where to cut the trunk and hand the nice person our card. Then…. back in the truck I go. Shivering as the door shuts next to me and within minutes we are headed back home.
Getting a 14 foot live tree into ones house is no small feat but after a lot of maneuvering, some well placed swear words followed by a prayer that the leather couch isn’t torn as we give the tree a last ditch push over the banister, hoping it will stop its forward movement before going through the three front windows, the tree arrives and is set in its place of honor. Lights are soon added from atop a tall ladder, along with bulbs, garland and keep sake ornaments from years past and as the night winds to its close I find myself wrapped tightly in the Cowboys arms as the warmth of a fire and the twinkling lights of our tree remind me that I am Home.