Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting Our Tree & Amy's Thanksgiving Visit

The Saturday after Thanksgiving my dear friend Amy came to visit. We met her out at the Farmer's Market. This is where we get our fresh Christmas tree every year - and frasier fir wreaths and pine roping. Gordon and I drove in the old truck - Grandpa Oscar's old Ford pick up. Trucks are made for getting Christmas trees - man I loved not having to cram it in the trunk or strap it on the roof! It was a blast - every time I drive that truck I have a smile on my face. I think it is partly because it is bouncy and loud and it makes me feel like a country girl, but, and this may sound silly, but I feel close to my FIL. I sure miss him, and the truck is a strong connection to him - his beagle Belle used to ride on a special platform he built on the passenger side (now gone of course and replaced with a Britax carseat!) the music he loved, we found at least a dozen CD's he'd burned himself with his favorite music - mountain music - or as Gordon says "pickin and a grinin' music" - Oscar would sure smile over that phrase, and honestly, I have no idea where Gordon learned that phrase - one day he just blurted it out when I asked him what he wanted to listen to - Christmas music? "No mommy, pickin and a grinin' music!" So Gordon and I bounced our way to the Farmer's Market laughing and singing too. We picked out a tree - this year I got the bright idea to try something different - I decided to get a white pine instead of the popular frasier fir. There were not many pines at the market, but I found one that was cute - but a bit too fat once we got it in the house, but live and learn. The problem with white pines, which I'd forgotten, the branches are not stiff at all - the poor thing can't hold an ornament that isn't as light as a feather. Before we get that far though - here we after getting back home with the greenery - Gordon is patiently waiting, sitting in the middle of my pine garland, for Amy & Buster to come in so he can surprise them:We ordered pizza and I set the tree up in the family room and began the painful ritual of untangling the lights from the boxes and putting them on the tree. Gordon was a BIG help to me this you can see...I had to share these despite the unflattering view of my large booticus because it shows why I love hanging tree lights so much - the patience and perseverance it takes, of which I have so much (sarcasm is dripping here.)
I look I'd already had a few celebratory drinks but I assure you I was not drinking and decorating, it was just the aftermath of tangled lights and a 40lb monkey on my back!
The bad part was that after I finally got them all on and we were marveling at the pretty lights the first string - which was on the bottom quarter of the tree, decided to completely go out. Nice. I LOVE Christmas, but I HATE putting on the lights, inside ones, outside ones - every year something like this happens. Every year I test the lights first, after I get them ready to go on the tree I make sure they work - yup - they all worked, until they are on the tree and all tucked in and then wham - some little christmas tree gremlin must be rubbing his hands in glee when he causes a strand to just suddenly stop working. I tried changing the fuses. It came on - problem solved. Or so I thought...but more on that later. So while I was battling with the lights, Gordon (after his fun ride on mommy) and Amy were busy making paper chains - I decided to go different for the tree this year - homemade decorations - simple I realized these flimsy little pine branches were not going to hold many ornaments! So Amy made the chains, I got the lights on, and then we stopped for the night and got Gordon to bed. And the adults enjoyed a wonderful cup of Amy's hot chocolate - which has a little kick to it - from the butterscotch schnapps she adds - YUM! And boy it warmed me up - and made me sleep well :-) Sunday we had a lazy morning, and I just made brunch while Amy read to Gordon
and we sat around in our pjs and caught up with a year's worth of talking. I wish Amy lived in town - even 3 1/2 hours is too far away! And Buster - Gordon is in love with Buster.
Buster is a combination of Australian sheep dog and Basset Hound - what a combination - a herding dog and a couch potato dog! Gordon sometimes loved Buster a little too much - but Buster took it all in stride, but he did throw his mom a few looks that seemed to say "you owe me, I'm expecting a big juicy bone under the tree this year after putting up with all of this." Amy and Buster had to get on the road late Sunday morning, but the good news was they planned to come back in a couple of weeks for another visit!