Thursday, December 6, 2007

Okay, It's Part Two and we're still not the family from a Norman Rockwell painting.

So, we are in the middle of a field of Christmas trees. When I left off this story on Tuesday, I had just discovered that my eight year old had no socks, my husband had no gloves and Fiona's shoe was taking on water. The Clydesdales and their wagon have left, we see Iowa in the distance and Gracie's chin, it is still stinging.

Probably due to the fact that by now little ice pellets were bouncing off of us like freshly popped popcorn at the movie theatre.

I am in the middle of a rousing rendition of "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Are you still with me?

Good. Let's continue with the tale of how the Chritmas karma came back to bite us.

There we stood for a few minutes in disbelief at the great vastness in front of us that was to be our selection of Christmas trees. Literally, our mouths hung open. Except for my son, whose mouth was open due to the fact that he was screaming over the pain of tripping continuously over tree stumps.

K and I looked at each other and gave a nod towards Iowa, and we began to walk. I had quit leading the sing along by this time, because nobody was joining in. They are a rude bunch when they are out in the elements, my people.

We zigged, we zagged, we made our way through the rows of trees. As we walked, we would stop and debate over one tree vs. another, but no tree seemed to be The One.

Because apparently, no matter what weather conditions we may be stranded in, we are a discerning bunch.

Fiona was only interested in the big trees. And I must compliment her, despite the hole in her gym shoes and the wet feet, she was a trooper. She was running ahead like a white tail deer during hunting season, scoping out possibilities for us to look at. The only problem with Fiona's tree selection is that they all were rather large. And wide. Finally K had to tell her if it was a tree that wouldn't fit in our backyard, it probably would not fit in our house. But still, this girl turned out to be someone I'd be proud to hike to Iowa with during a winter storm warning any day of the week.

That is, if I were stupid enough to ever find myself in this situation again. Which I won't. But if I did, I'd so want her to be my wing man. The Goose to my Maverick.

Anyhoo, have I mentioned about the two large, and now rather wet, blankets I was carrying?

Because I was.

Even though K did not have the foresight to bring gloves, I had the gumption about me to not only remember the saw, but two warm lap blankets for us to snuggle under on our horse drawn ride out to the Christmas tree field.

Remember, I'm all about the Fun! and the Christmas spirit! and the Memories!

I really was recreating a Norman Rockwell painting. Or a plate, at the very least.

The only problem with the blankets, is that they got so SOAKING WET on the ride out to the field, now that I was forced to actually carry them through the field, on foot, they were rather heavy.

So I did what anyone would do. I set them down. Right next to a tree where I knew I would remember them. My load was lighter, and we continued to walk.

Oh, and in case you were needing a weather update at this point, yes the little ice pellets are still raining down on us. Or should I say beating? Because really they were beating down on us.

Therefore, I think it would go without saying that Gracies' chin, it was still stinging.

You would think we would somehow, someway, manage to dig deep and JUST PICK A FRICKIN' TREE ALREADY.

But the elusive ONE, was not to be found.

I suggested a tree I may have seen on the wagon ride out, that I thought would be perfect. So we turned around and began to walk back toward the civilization from which we had come.

Because I'm sure out of roughly 8,238 trees, I would have no problem remembering which one it was that I had seen while whizzing by on a brisk, two horse open sleigh ride.

The only problem with the return trip to civilization was a slight problem with the heavy lap blankets. The blankets! Where were the blankets!

Now, where had I laid those pesky things down?

Who knew we had covered so much ground in between all that carolling, and tripping over tree trunks and least we forget our stinging chins.

Apparently, we had done alright for ourselves in that department. Because the blankets were no where to be found.

So I went one way, while Fiona went the other way and the rest of our people...well they just stood there.

And then I heard a call, and I liken it to how Tatoo must've felt every time he spotted da plane! da plane! For it was music to my ears. da blankets! da blankets!

There they were, covered with their own fresh little dusting of Christmas, right were I had left them.

K had the saw, I had the blankets, Fiona was still doing her white-tailed deer impersonation, and the other three...well they were wet. And tripping. And Gracie? That chin of hers was still a stinging'. Because those ice pellets knew no limit. They were going to beat us down until every last ounce of Christmas joy that was left in our bodies was gone.

And amid all this, still we could not find the right tree. They were either too big, too small or had *huge gasp* too many bald spots.

Because although we appreciate the beauty of nature's bounty in the form of a Frasier fir, we are not fans of the bald spot.

So we walked, and we walked, we tripped, and we walked some more.

And it was decision time. We were cold, we were wet and some of us were a bit cranky, while others were fresh out of Christmas carols to sing.

K has his hands tucked so far up in his sleeves he looked like he had two stumps where his arms should have been hanging. And his ears? They were mighty red. I think it is safe to say that baseball is a summer sport because the baseball hat? It does not provide the warmth that one might expect they would need outside of the months of May, June, July, and August.

So we were faced with a dilemma. Do we keep tree hunting? Searching for the still elusive one? Because the closer we walked to civilization, the slimmer the pickings got.

I'm not sure how fresh trees, still firmly rooted in their growing spot can turn half brown around the trunk, but the needles on half of these trees were indeed, brown and falling off.

And I know we were desperate, but not desperate enough to buy a half dead tree.

And then K said it. The words that no one wanted to hear, but that had to be said.
"Do you just want to go?"

WITH NO TREE? What about the FUN! and the MEMORIES!

But, the ice pellets, they had beat us down. So we decided to get on that Clydesdale pulled wagon and head for home. Or at least, the warm car.

And so we made our way to the spot where the Clydesdales should be returning. We shivered, we waited,we laughed at the craziness of the day, and we even were kind of aggravated at the rather half dead tree selection. And even after all this, we were still waitin' for those darn horses.

We were getting desperate, because aside from a three year old with a stinging chin, the only thing worse is a three year old WHO WANTS UPPIES. And I with my wet blankets, and K with his saw, were not exactly in the position to carry her while dodging 1,463 tree stumps covered with snow.

With no Clydesdales in sight, we had no choice. We must begin to walk back to the tree farm. All the way back.

But surely, we thought, we'd see that wagon coming for us while we were walking back. It would stop and pick us up. Of course it would.

Or maybe, a more likely thought should have been, we would never see those horses again and we would walk all the way back, at least a mile, to our car.

Yes, that seems to be more like the plan we went with.

And when we made it back to the car, faces red, feet wet, and chins stinging, K looked at me and said "I guess maybe we should've just gotten our tree at the nursery."

Really? The nursery where we pledged to take all of our nursery needs until the end of time?

Maybe we should have. Maybe if we had just gone to that nursery in the first place, Karma would not have had to unleash the fury of Mother Nature in the form of a windy ice storm, upon us.

Point taken, karma.


Martha said...

Oh. That was painful.

You know, Zuddy won't watch Everybody Loves Raymond. Because while it is funny? The situations Raymond gets himself in are just too real and painful for Zuddy to watch.

That's kind of how I feel about this story. I've never really had the desire to go cut down a Christmas tree. But after your story? I'll probably feel ill anytime someone tells me THEY went and cut down their tree!

Poor you!


ValleyGirl said...

Wow. I'm kind of at a loss for words. That's quite the Christmas adventure! And you told it SO well!

So my question is, if you'd found the perfect tree, would you have waited until the horses came back, or would you have sent someone back to get the horses while some waited with the tree, or would you have lugged the thing all the way back to the car yourselves, simply because getting it in the first place was such an ordeal?!

Family Adventure said...

Ouch Lisa! I feel the misery coming off the screen here...

I betcha your grandkids will *never* see a tree farm :)


gordostyle said...

Oh my gosh...flippin' hilarious! I'm sorry - I really do have compassion but it's just soooo funny to those of us who didn't partake in that glorious day!

You're such a good story-teller! So glad I found your blog!

Smiles...and wishes for a beautiful tree this year. From the Nursery. Hee-Hee!

Melanie said...

People here at work are starting to wonder about me...I am laughing out loud at your play by play of the Christmas tree hunting adventure!! If they only knew...anyway, sorry this wasn't the memory you had in mind but looking back, you're gonna laugh histerically at this one, like when it's not so fresh in your mind...

chickadee said...

we have never cut down a tree. it's just not done here. probably because there are no appropriate trees to cut. pine tree anyone?

well, i take that back. when i was a kid my grandmother always sent the men out to get a tree. a big old sticky cedar tree.

hope you finally got a tree somewhere for those poor, pitiful children.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

All the misery and no tree? UGH. You'd better get a job to pay for the therapy you're all going to need every Christmas.

Anonymous said...

A great story. Our son always says, "The worst experiences make the best stories later," and I believe that's true. So, my guess is the "visit to the tree farm" will become one of your family's favorite stories to tell in years to come.


Kellan said...

Oh ... but then you wouldn't have had this truly wonderfully written story to tell!!! It was fabulously sad and funny and inspiring and so filled with memories for your family. I loved it! Thanks, Kellan

Lynette said...

I can't believe how crazy and funny this story is. I feel like you could create your own silly Christmas carol out of it. Like the 12 Days of Christmas, but yours could be the 12 Memories I Want to Forget About Our Christmas Tree Adventure. And for the "5 golden rings" I find it appropriate to rephrase that to "five million tree stumps!"

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

"I guess we should have gone to the nursery." PRICELESS! Maybe a bit of another one of those Hii/Shii moments?

So sorry for your ice peltin' not finding a Christmas tree day.

Hey, what I'm wanting to know is did you tell the people that were driving the horses that you walked back to your car or are they still out there looking for a frozen family of six? :)

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I so needed that laugh. I am so sorry to laugh at your pain, but I gotta tell you that it made me crack a big 'ole grin...I know, what a friend to laugh at ya.

SO THINKING I'd get a fake one :)

Darcy said...

I can't wait to see a picture of your Christmas tree! You and your family are going to laugh about this story for years to come!

I saw a commercial on tv last night where a dad and his kids were out trying to find the perfect tree to chop down. When they did he snapped a photo of it with his phone and sent it to the mom (who was nice and warm at home) and asked if this was it. She text (texted?!) back that it was. Right away, I thought of you! :)