There's one last round of brownies to be mailed. There will be several trips around town to distribute the love locally. I'm making small bags to hand out to the pool guys and the mail carriers and the FedEx and UPS people. Everything I own smells of chocolate.
There are worse fates.
It was chilly as I went around town yesterday afternoon. The sun came out (finally) and it stopped raining (finally) and it was time to buy my tree (finally).
I stopped in at WallyWorld first, because they always have the best prices on Christmas trees. They were sold out. Apparently, last year they were stuck with too many trees on December 26th, so this year the manager ordered only 140 of them. They were gone on Tuesday. I had a small grinch attack, laughing with the salesman at myself.
I went to the locally owned family farm tree lot, which, it turns out, isn't exactly local. The trees and the salesman were from Oregon. This company has lots all over town, all of them advertising themselves as Tucsonans, or, at least, Arizonans. Oregon is not local, and the prices matched the sign – outrageous. I wanted a 5-6 foot Douglas fir; the taller-than-TBG seller unfurled one towering over his head as he insisted it was just a bit over five feet. Sorry, sir. I am a bit over 5' (just a little bit, but still, a bit) and that tree was going on double my size. I don't want pressure when I'm tree shopping. I want love. I left.
I drove around the block to the Faith Community Church, where Mr. 10 and I had shopped for my fir many years ago. The same delightful children were the salesforce, raising money for their summer trip to Church Camp in Mesa. There was a fire pit to take the chill off, and a raft of beautiful trees standing, open and glorious, well watered and smelling of the season.
What kind of tree are you looking for, Ma'am?
A perfect tree.
Well, we have a few of those, I think.
That's what I was looking for. Someone to enter into the spirit of the spree. With no children by my side, I had to make my own fun. Pandora's myriad holiday channels had me humming and singing in the parking lot and the church kids' enthusiasm took the edge off WallyWorld and Not-Very-Local tree lots.
The Uuv is large enough to carry a tree inside, and the king size sheet we wrapped around the branches kept all but three or four needles neatly packaged. Of course, Perfect Patty had just finished mopping the floors when I arrived home with the tree, but the broom and the vacuum made short work of the mess we created as we dragged the Douglas fir from the garage to the living room.
It sat in the corner, relaxing into its new home, as TBG and I watched television and inhaled the aroma. The branches drooped. More needles fell. We admired the symmetry and the deep green color, TBG offering advice as I sat on the floor with the Felco pruners, trimming the straggling lowest branches. This morning I put on the lights, wondering as I do every year, if there were enough of them.
To my eye, there are never enough. To TBG, it always looks perfect.
The box of ornaments, the box of nutcrackers, the box of serving platters and napkins and fancy paper plates are open and emptying. He'll watch tv and offer compliments as I stroll down memory lane, trimming the tree with gifts from family and friends, collected over the 40 years of our marriage.
There will be more in this vein in tomorrow's post, unless I am distracted by Ben Carson's moment of silence, or by Donald Trump's refusal to answer questions, or by Jeb Bush's world's-most-boring-man imitation. We shall see.