Pat Online ~ December 2013
It’s the time of year for me to go out and get a Christmas tree. A long time ago, this used to be a simple task. I would take my hatchet and wade down through the snow to our woodlot. Then I would sort through the available trees for a fir tree of the proper size, something less than eight feet tall but with a nice shape and an abundance of boughs. I would fell it with my hatchet and it would crash to the snow-cover ground. It would be a very small crash. Then I would drag it through the snow back to our farm house, where I would saw its hatchet-butchered trunk off to a nice flat end. Then I would nail the tree stand to that end. Usually the stand was left over from the tree of a year before, but if not, I would make a new one from random short pieces of two-by-four. It would not be unattractive, once covered with fake snow. On the occasion of the tree I am thinking about, I was eight years old and the sole male member of our family, my father having died a couple of years before. None of the female members of the family, Mom, Gram and my sister, The Troll, criticized my carpentry efforts, being happy enough to get a tree of any kind without exertion on their behalf.
Life is simpler now, although not all that much. I simply go down to the Christmas tree lot and buy one with the wooden stand already attached. If one isn’t attached, I have a metal stand at home that fits nicely over the trunk. Ah, but here’s the catch. I no longer have a pickup truck. My last one I gave away to one of my daughters, Peggy I think. A while back I suggested to my wife, Bun, that we buy a pickup truck. “I’m not riding in a pickup truck!” she shouts.
“But we could haul our Christmas tree home in it if we had a nice half-ton four-wheel-drive pickup truck.”
“You can call Jim for that,” she responds. “He has a pickup truck.”
Jim is my son-in-law. Along with his regular car, he has a little pickup. I guess it would haul a Christmas tree but it doesn’t have the right feel. But I suppose that’s what I’ll do. Anyway, at Christmas dinner this year I will once again tell the story of the Christmas tree I cut down myself when I was only eight years old. Everybody loves that story.