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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Decking Our Halls Revisted - A Re-post

Having been married since God made dirt I can honestly say we've been through lots of hills and valleys, but working together we've pretty much been able to handle our challenges -- some of which occurred over Christmas trees.

One year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, we set out to cut down our tree at a farm we'd frequented for a few years. It hadn't occurred to either of us that they would not yet be open, but the owner took pity on us and said we could go onto the farm and cut down our tree, but he wouldn't be able to provide the tractor to carry it out. "No problem!", we said and joyously grabbed our hand saw and began our trek over the hills of the spacious tree farm.

We saw many trees that were beautifully shaped and full, but I needed to see them all. About forty-five minutes later we found it: a Douglas fir appearing about about nine feet tall, beautifully shaped, and nicely full. Richard spread his jacket down on the ground, lay down on it and began sawing. My job was to grab the tree and provide weight against the cut. "Hon," I said after what seemed a long time, "Are you okay?" Richard was still sawing. "Kath," he said breathlessly, "I think we've got a little problem -- this thing has a double trunk. It may not fit in the tree stand, but I guess we'll deal with that later." Once you begin cutting a tree down, you just can't decided to abort it and go on to another tree; the die is cast. So we continued.

When I apply pressure, it helps with the felling of the tree. Richard saws, I pull, and the tree falls to the ground with a little thump. This time however, I could tell by the 'give' that it was cut, but there was no falling; no 'thump.' It stood, cut, almost straight up. "Uh oh," we said simultaneously.

We tried to pick it up. Usually I grab the trunk and Richard grabs the tree higher up. We were having trouble lifting it off the ground. (I should probably mention here that at this point we realized two things: this part of the farm was extremely hilly which does not allow for an accurate depiction of the size of a tree (girth and height); and two, we were at the farthest point of the property.) We tried again and again; the tree wasn't budging.

We were the only people out there. Extraordinary occasions call for extraordinary means. Richard stayed with the tree and I went back for the car, a Grand Cherokee with 4-wheel drive.

Doing some fancy driving, I was able to get to about 20 feet where Richard stood with the behemoth. Together we dragged it to the car realizing neither of us, separately or together, could lift it onto the top.  I got into the back of the Jeep, Richard lay back on the ground, lifted the trunk with his legs while I pulled it as hard as I could into the car. I got it partially in, Richard climbed in beside me and pulled it the rest of the way. We had to leave the back of the Jeep open so we wouldn't chop off the top two feet of the tree (which in retrospect, might have been a blessing). We got into our respective seats with the double trunk of the tree between us, resting on the dash board. From the back, the green Cherokee looked like a snake that had eaten a huge prey it was unable to swallow.

We drove up to the owner's house, paid for our tree and then began the 45 minute-ride home. And then it hit me. "How are we going to get this thing out of the car without ripping off the branches?" I called to him over the trunk, " It's facing the wrong way." Silence.

Richard is resourceful. He wrapped a blanket around the tree and slid it out of the car onto the driveway. It took three neighbors to get it into the house and about 20 strands of lights to cover it. It was a gorgeous tree.

16 comments:

Gin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kathy said...

I didn't even tell the part about Richard being pinned up against the wall by the tree! It was more like "Christmas Vacation" than you know!! (At least no one wrapped up their cat :))
BTW, my email is karianohome@aol.com. If you send me yours, I'll send a couple of recipes.

happyone said...

Wow that must have been some tree.
A great story!!!

CJM-R said...

I loved that story. True team work!

susansmusings said...

I'm laughing so hard at the images you've brought to mind. Great story. I'm glad you managed to get the tree home safe, sound and well lit.

Linda Reeder said...

Wow. That's quite a tall tree tale!

jane said...

can you hear me laughing? i love it here :)
xxx

Maggie said...

What a wonderful Christmas Story. I'm sitting here reading and grinning and shaking my head. :)

Bilbo said...

Reminds me of the year we bought a beautiful tree that turned out to be more crooked than a Southern congressman. We couldn't get it to stand up straight no matter what we did, and ended up having to put eyebolts in the ceiling in three places and use heavy gauge fishing line to hold it up. We now have a beautiful, bushy, straight artificial tree.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

So glad the tree turned out to be beautiful. You worked together as a team and got the job done.

Cheryl said...

If you were a blogger back then, I know what your first thought might have been. I've GOT to blog about this!! And there would have been pictures. What a great story. An 'I Love Lucy' story indeed.

George said...

Some people will do anything to get the perfect Christmas tree!

Gilly said...

Loved that story! Hope to read more when eyes better and new glasses obtained!

Maggie said...

RYN: Yup, we would be a mite bit chilly. I've got layers tho. I'm good at layers. :)

beachgirl said...

What a fun tree story. I have never gone out and cut down a tree. For the last 20 years I have had an artificial tree. The December my Mom died we bought a huge artificial one and I still use it today. My allergies now love Christmas and I don't look like I am rudolph or have a drip bag hanging from my nose.

vanillabeanbaker said...

Enjoyed this story. You do tell one so wonderfully. Richard was very smart to wrap the huge tree in a blanket and thank goodness for the three neighbours lending a hand.
Have you had a tree as large since that trek into the tree farm or did you and Richard decide to settle for something you can manage without half the neighbourhood helping? LOL