We've made it through another week...and an unplanned weekend lies ready to be orchestrated in any way that moves me. Christmas decorating is already mostly complete, due to the efforts of my like-minded daughter, who has an abundance of energy I seem to have misplaced somewhere. (Perhaps with my keys or glasses?!) I am looking forward to putting the finishing touches on the outside of our home. One of my favorite activities during the season is gathering pine to "green" my house. The wonderful smelling boughs adorn doors, and find homes in crocks, baskets, and the burl-dough bowl my mother blessed me with while she was still able to choose specific items to pass on to my sisters and I. (Pictures will follow when my hunt through the woods and backyard is complete!) I can still smell the greens that Mom tucked above the kitchen cabinets at the farm. She trained me well!
Greening the house isn't complete without the biggest or best tree to be found. As a child my dad would take one of us girls to get a tree from Ardent Nurseries where we grew up. I always felt so special when I accompanied Dad on these trips to the nursery for a cut or live tree. Dad loved to get balled trees to plant in the yard after the holidays. And Invariably it was his favorite, a blue spruce. This sturdy blue-green tree could hold the heaviest ornaments, and lost very few needles. It also became my favorite tree, so much so that when my daughter began developing a rash from the tree, I just made her wear gloves to decorate! When Dad passed away, we planted a balled blue spruce in our own yard. Affectionately named the "Granddaddy Tree", it has received tender care, and in the nearly 20 years since we last shared Christmas with Dad, has grown to 30 feet or more, now towering over our home. It continues to make me smile and think of those good times, although we are no longer able to reach the top to string granddaddy's tree with lights.
The years have passed, and it is now my daughter's turn to travel to a tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree with her dad. It is also time that my husband treasures spending with his only daughter, including the years he had to carry her piggy back through snow or mud, due to knee and foot surgeries that had her on crutches at the time. He complained the entire way, and loved every minute. Such sweet memories.
One year we brought our tree home on a sled, like my husband's Swedish relatives had done so many years before. But that's a story for another time.
A warm country hug to all,