Saturday, 6 December 2008

Tree Day

So today is tree day. We all jumped into the car on the first day this year with snow. A lot of snow. There is a large storm front heading our way bringing high winds and blowing snow. Out in the county the winds are the problem, there's not much on the ground and too much in the air. We found the tree farm, requisitioned our saw and trudged off into the treeline with our ears open for the trees that were speaking to us. That's Kim's ritual - the perfect tree talks to her, she must have complete silence to hear it, sometimes it just whispers, other times it yells. The kids of course have taken to this little quirk and head off on their own to commune with nature as it were.

No trees were talking today. There were lots of them, from immature pines not ready for the holidays, to Charlie Brown trees that will be passed over by countless families. Tall, short, scrawny, fat, one tree I wanted to investigate ended up being two grown together to form a super tree. We found one that spoke in the appropriate tone, and parked our son next to it to guard it while we headed off to see if there was anything better. A half hour later, we remembered about him and headed back. I thought he would be upset with us, leaving him there, but he was happy, staying behind the tree to avoid the wind, listening to his iPod. What a woodsman. 

Going to the tree farm brings back memories. Not of hunting for the perfect tree as a kid, we had an artificial tree. Memories of being in the woods in the winter, camping. Yup, that's right, camping. Nothing like it - building a snow shelter, keeping the fire going all night, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, that kind of stuff. I used to teach cadets winter camping and I had more fun doing that than summer camping. No mud! 

I stood in the tree line today, wearing my old combat coat (warmest thing I have) and my old combat boots, recalling days where I would hide lunch in the middle of  a 100 acre woodlot, hand out compasses and tell the 40 kids it was lunchtime and they were cooking for me. I miss those days, someday I will take my kids winter camping. They think I'm nuts for enjoying it, but it's one of those activities you have to experience.

We strapped the tree to the car and began our journey home. Every now and then peeking out of the sunroof to make sure our new passenger was comfortable. We drank hot chocolate and watched the wind blow around the country roads while listening to a Christmas mix CD Kim prepared for the trip.

Tonight is the Santa Claus parade on Riverside Drive. The wind has died down and the snow is falling lightly. Perfect night for a parade. Tomorrow, Christmas truly arrives, the tree will be decorated, and lights outside strung, and other decorations put out. It's about time, we've been having trouble getting going this year with everyone being sick, The spirit is here now. Let's hope the season brings all it promises.

Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Another huge advantage of winter camping (which I have not done in ages, either) is no bugs.


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