Yesterday was definitely not a day for walking. When I came home from my ballet class around 10 a.m., it was nasty out—cold, very windy, not actually raining but looking as if it might at any moment.
When I walked in the door, my husband was just stepping out of the shower. I said, “I guess you don’t plan to run today,” this implied comment on the weather being prefatory to telling him I didn’t think it was the ideal time to go look for a Christmas tree as we had planned. Before I had a chance to follow up, however, he said, “I’ll be ready in just a few minutes.”
I said I thought today would be a better day (it would have been). He said there would be less time today (he had commitments in Mobile this morning).
I said, “Think Stonehenge,” referring to our miserable hour at that godforsaken historic site last March—on an unseasonably freezing day with heavy rain and gale-force winds. He said, “It wasn’t that bad.” Ah, the blessings of rose-colored memory!
I said if he insisted on going, he could be sure that I would pick the first tree we laid eyes on. He was unmoved.
It had started to sprinkle by the time we left the carport. By the time we reached the Christmas tree farm, it was raining pretty hard. Areas at our latitude to the west of us (Houston, New Orleans, coastal Mississippi) got snow yesterday, but no, we had to get rain as the snow blew into North Alabama and bypassed us.
All the trees looked very far away. We usually get a Leyland cypress, but the only ones we saw claimed to be “Mostly 9–12 feet” (we have an 8½-foot ceiling). The Virginia pines were closer, so we decided one of those would do.
I would have liked to pick the first one we came to, but it was too tall. Others were too short. Some were obviously hideous. By the time we found one we were both desperate enough to settle for, we were a long way from the “shaking and bagging” area and pay point—and soaking wet. We cut the tree, loaded it on the cart, and lugged it back.
The owner of the farm, who had undoubtedly thought no one would be crazy enough to go tree shopping on such a wretched day, came out to shake and bag the tree himself and then to complain about the inadequacy of my roof rack (which has sufficed in three previous years and in fact bore this tree home safely as well).
The perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!