Out With The Old…….

 

Here we are already five days into the New Year. I decided to take down the Christmas tree and all the decorations that go with that wonderful time of the year.

Sigh. I hesitated. If you read my post O Christmas Tree then you know that we cut down a fresh tree. A VERY fresh tree. I hadn’t watered it but once since we first got it (the day after Thanksgiving). Very few needles had dropped and it was still fresh with sap.

Sadly, I decided to strip it of it’s magical lights and simple, nostalgic ornaments and send it on it’s way. We decided to stick it in the backyard where the birds can enjoy it and who knows, maybe saplings will pop up. Maybe not, since I have no idea how they come about.

But as I sat there, thinking about taking it down, all the ornaments piled on the coffee table before me, I got to thinking (a dangerous past time I know ; ). I got to thinking about the other reason I was hesitating. You see, I have a lot of thinking and hoping stock in this New Year. The last two and a half years have been a somewhat temporary situation. Mostly with our housing. It’s been alright for the most part, but having a landlord who just loves to save money any way he can has proven to be quite uncomfortable in many ways.

We are ready. We are so ready to find a better dwelling place. I don’t need large, I just need slighter bigger. I don’t need a dishwasher, but I do need central air. Just to name a couple. As a matter of fact, I want simple.

So back to the hesitation of taking down the decorations. That whole act speaks to me about moving forward. And I’ll be honest here, I hate moving forward IF there will be no change. That sounds silly to some, even to me a little, because the very act of moving forward implies there will be change.

Here enters that awful player called irrational fear. I hate him. He’s a bad actor and a liar. I cannot let him convince me he is good in any way. So there! The fear of things not changing is daunting. BUT, I am intentionally choosing to ignore that limelight stealer!  I am moving forward! Tally-Ho! and all that goes with it!

And I know I am not alone in this. So many of my friends are anticipating change, for the good. Good changes in health, life, jobs, homes. The list can go on and on! My prayers are that we all get there. And that we surrender our fears and stress to the One who can take us all the way through, no matter what the path is like.

Enjoy!

Cate B

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O Christmas Tree – Around The Burg

My last Christmas in New Jersey was momentous. My daughter-in-law and my youngest grandson took me to a Christmas Tree Farm. It was magical in so many ways. That day was cold and cloudy and the back drop of the farm was woods and wooden fences. They raised pigs there. We looked in on the full grown sows and made our way over to a small enclosed area that housed the piglets for everyone to see and take photos of and with.

Of course I stepped right in with my grandson and I grabbed a piglet and cuddled him and oooed and ahhhed in his precious face. He began to wiggle and then squeal so loud I had to put him down.  What fun we had that day.

Now, eight years later, in The Middle, we decided to venture out with our youngest granddaughter to a Christmas Tree Farm in the town of Knob Noster, Missouri.

While the back drop was more open farmland with wooded areas here and there, it was still magical. We were accompanied by the melody of a mule braying. Off we went with a saw in my husbands hand and a metal cart for carrying the tree back to the car.

Well, these trees were pretty but they were the kind that are bush-like. What I mean by that is you cannot see any branches or trunk. Just thick green needles. I was taller than most of them. For the life of me I could not figure out how I was to hang lights and ornaments on the hobbit trees.

I am old fashioned and nostalgic when it comes to Christmas. I love trees that look like I made them. We hang ornaments of all kinds from the years we’ve been a family. A mixture of home-made to old memories to modern eclectic. It comforts me. These hobbit trees just wouldn’t work for me.

Now the magic…. there, in the very last row of hobbit trees, I see it! A six foot scraggly fir-type tree with trunk visible and branches sticking out in every direction. A tree that started out with great posture and then went left then right then up then over as if realizing there was a whole world out there to discover!

A tree with a kindred-spirit to me.

The saw came out, and as our granddaughter watched in wonder, down came the tree and we plopped her on the cart.

As we were pulling her back to the car the tears came. I missed my kids from the east and the times we spent together. Such good memories. And now the new memories with another little one. I smiled through my tears and narrated to our girl  on the art of setting up a tree and decorating.

We belted Lu into her seat and unzipped the back window of The Jeep. Yes, I said Jeep. Wrangler. Soft top. Where does a jeep owner put a tree? I’ll tell you where…. trunk between the front seats and body next to granddaughter and top out the back window, that’s where! Off we went!

At home we sipped on Christmas Milk (aka Egg Nog – don’t tell Lu what the real name is or she will never drink it again) while we hung lights and ornaments accompanied by Christmas songs. 

Here’s to new memories and journeys and traditions! Here’s to not staying stuck in the same old- same old but moving forward while cherishing the past memories that shape us into adventurers.

Enjoy!

Cate B

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