My friend, Barb, created “Kevin’s Korner” in honor of her deceased son and to encourage writers of all ages. She conducts weekly contests with a different theme each week. Last week’s theme was “Your Favorite Christmas Memory,” and also the first time I participated. Awards were made in two categories: Poetry and Short Story. I won the Short Story category (I entered my poem, “The Christmas Fire,” and then responded to someone else’s entry about live Christmas trees with the following, not really expecting it to be counted as an entry, but certainly glad that it was!):
I don’t know if this is my favorite memory, but it sure was the wackiest! Reading Cheryl’s memory reminded me.
The one and only time I went to a tree farm to cut a live tree, I went early in November to pick it out. My friend kept saying I needed to look at smaller trees, and I argued the tree would be shorter once it was cut down. I finally tagged a tree and that was that.
In early December, another friend with a pickup took me to get the tree. The tree farm owner cut the tree down for me and I knew right then, I was in big trouble. As soon as the tree fell over, even lying on the ground, it was bigger than I was tall! Which meant it was as big around as it was tall. Oops.
My friend gamely loaded it into the back of his pickup; it extended out the back of the bed by 4 feet and over both sides by two!
Now all we had to do, once we got to my apartment, was get it up to the third floor using three flights of narrow stairs that had 3 hairy turns. We literally yanked and tugged it up the stairs using the bottom branches (which were, like, 4 inches in diameter) and it took us two hours. Lost plenty of needles, but there were mega-millions to start with, no big deal. Okay, not so good so far, but I’m determined because I’m having a tree trimming party that night. Can I plan or can I plan?
We get the tree into the living room, but we can’t stand it up because it’s too tall (we’re talking Rhode Island Victorian ceilings here). So, we chop off 2 feet. Then we have to take half the furniture out because when the tree finally does stand up, it’s so big around that it extends halfway across the living space. To make matters more interesting, no matter how I maneuvered I couldn’t get to the water reservoir. I ended up stripping the plastic covering off the shower rod, poking it in through the branches like a giant drinking straw, and solving that problem. Can you say “Slurpee?” That tree drank, like, 3 gallons of water a day!
Now the tree is jammed as tightly into the corner as we could manage, which is good because the darn thing is so huge I don’t have nearly enough ornaments to cover the part that’s exposed.
But it sure smelled good!
My first friend was right; I needed to look at smaller trees. I can admit when I’m wrong, especially when the evidence is so darn BIG!
Don’t ask me how we got it out of that third floor apartment; let’s just say someone wanted to use a window and lots of unhappiness happened from there.
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