Tag Archives: California Condor

O Christmas Tree

I have a Christmas Tree story.  Many years ago, when the kids were quite young, we lived in a mountain town in California.  The town and outlying neighborhoods rested at about 3500 feet in elevation.  We were in a valley, of sorts, and the higher peaks went up to about 6,000 to 8,000 feet.  They say the elusive California Condor nested up in the higher heights.  I never saw one while we lived there, but a friend of mine did.

Back to the Christmas tree.  A family we knew asked our family to join them in cutting down our Christmas trees.  The man’s parents owned a cabin and land higher up the mountain and we could go up and each get a free Christmas tree – and a very fresh one at that.  Of course we said yes!

Our family piled into our gigantic four-wheel drive, older model, Chevy Blazer and their family into their four wheel drive pick up truck.

It had been snowing in the higher elevations -really snowing.  When we got to the road, that led us to the cabin, the man got out and unchained the gate.  The snow was deep.  We both set our vehicles into four wheel drive and up we went.  Our friends truck slid into a rather deep ditch.  Thankfully, we did not.

We tried pulling them out, etc., but realized he was very stuck and we all piled into our vehicle.  He assured us his dad could help him get the truck out the next day – and they did.

Here we were in a real live Winter Wonderland.  Kids were running around and playing in the snow.  Our friend was putting on some belts and such and wielding a hand saw.  I was wondering which trees do we pick?  All seemed very tall and I couldn’t find those cute ones on ground level.

With those thoughts running through my head I turned, and saw our friend halfway up a very tall pine tree.  He had his belt around the trunk and off he went – much like a phone repair man on a telephone pole.  Boy did he go high!  I had to ask his wife what the heck he was doing!?!  She calmly, and proudly, told me that he does this every year.  He saws the top of the pine off and there you have a beautiful tree.

I was wrapping my mind around that one, when I heard a cry and a tree came tumbling down from the sky.  He then proceeded to climb another tree for ours.  Amazing.  I had no idea that someone actually did that.

Here is a pic (not mine) of one climbing a tree:

Our experience had thicker forested area and branches all the way up.

Our experience had thicker forested area and branches all the way up.

Here is my previous experience, and what I saw in my head – commercial Christmas Tree Farm:

commercial tree farm

commercial tree farm

Well, we strapped the trees on top of our vehicle and loaded two families (total of seven children) into the vehicle and down the mountain we went.  We loved it.

Now, for the best part.  That tree was so fresh, and by fresh it was FULL OF OOZING SAP, that when we placed it into the metal tree stand, well, it flattened the stand.  Totally.  The legs rendered useless.  So, we had to build a stand out of wood, like an X.

We decorated it and kept wiping the sap off of our hands.  It was beautiful and perfect and fresh.

One evening, as we were finishing our dinner, a friend came by, as he often did.  He made himself comfortable on the couch right next to our beautiful, ever so fresh, Christmas tree.

That was when we heard a creeeeeek, and our friend say, “Oh no!”

We looked, and there was Brian, buried under our ever so fresh Christmas tree!  It was so heavy from the sap that it could not stand on it’s own.  I had visions of us going to the lot down the street and buying a not so fresh tree to replace this one.

No worries, we dug out Brian and he went to his truck and screwed an eyelet in the wall and we tied the tree to the wall.  Yes we did!

That experience has left us with a wonderful memory of a Christmas past.

The things we do…….. (not my pic)

images

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Enjoy!

cate b