At the moment the sun is out and the temperature is in the forties. It's been that way for weeks it seems, but old man winter is bound to hit us one of these days. And we'll see scenes like this all too soon. But the picture to the left reminds me of our winters back in new York so many years ago.
I guess it goes with getting older. You sit and reflect on where you were and what you did years ago. Many years ago. And it's not all bad.
A couple of weeks ago Joyce's brother and I did something I haven't done in a very, very long time. We drove out to a tree farm a few miles north of where we live to seek out a Christmas tree for their house. We found a beauty and left it in the field adorned with a ribbon so he can go back and cut it and bring it home a bit closer to Christmas. That is, if we don't have a storm like the picture and we can't make it back through the wilderness road to the tree farm.
It reminded me of when I was in the sixth or seventh grade and we lived out in the country. One day my father told me to get my snow gear on - that we were going after our Christmas three. Not at some community or city Christmas tree lot but several miles out in the wilderness.
We loaded a toboggan in the back of the station wagon and Dad, Uncle Ralph my brother and I
drove up the snow-cover back roads to the forest. I was glad for my high-top boots but even at that the snow still was over my knees and it was close to Roger's hips (I think we ended up loading him on the toboggan and pulling him. It was always a challenge trying to fine just the right height tree with just the right shape. We finally found what seemed to be the perfect tree, loaded it on the toboggan, and struggled to pull it to the car. Wouldn't you know - when it was cut down the tree turned out to be close to 10 feet high (our house ceilings were around 8 feet) and it wouldn't fit in or on the car. So we had to go through a trimming process before we even headed home. But it was one of those very special trees - not just simply a Christmas tree but the perfect one right out of the woods.
We didn't have snow the day we went out look ing for Jim's but it was a very special time looking through all the trees in the lot and the best part was tramping through the farm looking for it.
I've gotten a lot of trees from city lots and it took a lot of eyeballing to try to get the perfect tree.
I wasn't always successful at that - there was a time when we lived in North Carolina I came home with what I thought was a beauty. Joyce took one look at it and asked, "Did you nreally look closely at this tree?" I said I had, and she said it had two trunks - the trunk had split part way up. I said we could put an agel on one trunk and a star on the other and she gave me one of those looks. She said to the children, "Let's go get a REAL Christmas tree" and off they went. Meanwhile my tree remained outside leaning up against the back of the house until spring - or summer - or the next Christmas perhaps. I don't think I searched out another Christmas tree
ever again - at least until Jim and I went out to the tree farm a couple of weeks ago. I didn't hear Joyce say anything to Jim but I'll be she was hoping Jim would pick his own and not leave the choice to me.
And our fiber-optic tree doesn't light up any more.What do WE do this year? You can bet sure dollars she won't send me out by myself after a new one.