I am feeling the need for quiet contemplation, and very few words.
Today's slice is told through photos,
We spent no more than 10 minutes at the tree lot. The day was bitter cold, inviting us to shop quickly. We know what we like and we keep it simple - Fraser fir, about 7 feet high. This one looked perfect, laying at the top of a small stack of trees at our regular pop-up sales site in a nearby parking lot. We didn't even ask the vendor to untie the tree; as I said, it was dang cold, but honestly it is more because we are easily pleased - the two of us subscribe a bit to the "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" school of thought, in that we trust we can beautify whatever tree awaits. We will love it. 'Tis the season to be content, to be joyful.
The vendor lifted the tree from the stack and lots of needles rained down. Here's where we really are a goofy twosome, Tony and I - we immediately assumed that those dropped needles had fallen from some other tree that had been stacked on top of ours, during its journey in the truck from who knows where (Canada?), and basically littering our tree. Our tree was just shaking these loose, now that it was able to stand up and apart, right? The vendor didn't dispel or challenge our thinking. They say humans can rationalize pretty much anything they want to believe; I suspect this is all the more true when questioning your beliefs means you must suffer out in the cold for longer.
As Tony paid the vendor, I pointed out the praying mantis egg sac on the tree, thinking this was a good luck sign; but my admiration wasn't understood by the dear vendor, who immediately grabbed the sac and hurled it out of the lot, apologizing. "Oh no! I thought it was good luck," I said, "Certainly, it's a sign that the tree was growing happily and healthily." The vendor looked at me with some confusion, and then helped us tie the tree onto the roof of our car.
Yes, I immediately got my pen out and started copying all my annotations and recipes into the new book.
Score one for nostalgia!
A short while later, I stepped outside. Tony was working on the side porch, stringing lights along the banister, and there was a wild web of light strands on the front porch step. Hmm, I thought, where did that little pile of light chaos come from? I'll leave those for him and work with my new favorites, those easy "reel" lights. Last year we purchased some new lights that were packaged on a reel, making it very easy to wrap a shrub in holiday cheer by simply unwinding the container as you work, virtually eliminating tangles and knots in the wires.
Except, now I couldn't find them.
"Tony, where are the new lights we got last year? The ones on the reels?"
"They're right there, on the front steps."
"I don't see any reels here."
"Well I put those away after I took the lights off of them. The lights are right there at your feet - see?"
"Wait -you TOOK THEM OFF THE REELS and MADE A RAT'S NEST FOR ME, so that I might have the THRILL of untangling them!?"
He looked at me patiently and calmly asked, "Did I do something wrong?"
"Well, goodness, I thought the whole point of those strands was their ease! You simply hold them and unwind them onto the tree as you go."
"Oops. Sorry. I didn't know."