Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tree Memories - Pt. III

It’s three weeks before Christmas; carols have taken over the radio, a winter chill has settled in, keeping people cloistered in their homes, huddled against the cold. Everyone, that is, except for me – my fingers were numb.

Why were they numb? Because I was reaching up through the moon roof of Darcy’s car, holding her 8-1/2-foot tall tree on the roof. Despite thick gloves and heat blazing from the vents, airflow at 35 MPH treated my gloves like tissue paper, but I wasn’t deterred – my death grip kept the damned tree solidly against the car’s body as we inched closer to home.

How did I get into this predicament? Well, let’s set the clock back a week. Darcy wanted a tree for her apartment – a live tree; a tall tree; a fresh tree. Meaning we were going to a cut-your-own-tree lot. When she suggested this, I pointed out the obvious flaw in her plan:

“Let’s be honest, sweetie,” I said. “When they say cut-your-own tree, they probably should say Brian-cuts-down your tree.”

“Well, yeah,” she said. “But can we go?”

Again, rather than waste time with just saying no, pointing out how it’s a waste of gas, a waste of time and damned cold outside, I folded like a piece of paper. Sure, pride is nice, but grumbling aside, since I decided to not hate Christmas this year, and it would make Darcy happy, then tree shopping it is.

And there but for the grace of God I went – to a tree lot over in Illinois.

The car ride was uneventful, except that since we were in her car, we listened to Christmas music the entire time. Now, I don’t mind “classic” Christmas music; however the new stuff – mostly stuff written in the past ten years or so – really stinks. Mariah Carey warbling about something; Faith Hill – ugh. And of course, the most hated version of all – Stevie Nicks croaking Silent Night. It sounds like frogs fucking.

So we arrived at the tree lot – trucks as far as the eye can see. We go to the cashier, pick up a saw, hop on the trailer being dragged by the tractor and off we went into the wilds of Eckert's tree lot.

The cold wind blew into the 30-40 of us huddled on the trailer. I pet the large dog lounging beside me -- there were two dogs on the trailer; I'd bring my dog, except that she'd run off, trying to urinate on every tree on the lot. Between that and the "presents" she'd leave for everyone, and we might not be welcomed back, so Trudy remained behind.

We walked around, seeing various trees. Finally we found It -- green, tall, fluffy. It stood out amongst the other trees - taller, fuller. It was the One.

Next thing I knew, I was on my knees before it, sawing through the trunk, and soon, the tree was down (fortunately, not on top of me -- kind of was afraid of that). Soon, we were in line, paying for the tree.

As we left, I grabbed several strands of twine -- we had no other means of tying the tree to the car, so twine it was, and after several minutes of knotting, weaving, wrapping, we climbed into the car and drove. For about a half mile, when we stopped to re-tie the tree. Two miles later, we stopped again.

The tree kept swaying to and fro on top of the car. This wasn't good, considering we still had several miles of highway to cover before getting the tree safely to Darcy's apartment. After stop number three, I was reaching up through the moon roof, holding the tree on the car. We needed help - and soon.

Salvation came in the form of a nursery that sold trees. We pulled into the lot, and Darcy appealed to their kind natures, while I slinked off, not wanting to be pointed out as the guy who couldn't tie a tree on a car. After he finished tying the tree back on, I belly crawled back to the passenger side door and we made a clean getaway.

The tree fastened to the roof, it was off to Darcy's apartment, where we put it up and added the lights. The next night we decorated it. Then we redecorated it the next night after it fell over in the middle of the night.

I'm still not a big tree fan. As we worked on it, I could feel my sinuses filling up and my head starting to swim. Allergies rock. And in a few weeks, we'll need to take it down. However, the experience wasn't as traumatic as it might have been, and any chance I get to spend time with Darcy is well worth it.

However, I still don't want to carry the damn thing out of her apartment. I'm nothing if not lazy.

1 comment:

Chilly said...

This was a great intro/retrospective on Christmas. Blog more often dammit!