(Since I just created this blog today, I am populating it with random scribbles from the past few years to get it started. This was actually written December 6, 2010)
It started snowing Friday afternoon and just didn’t stop. The minute I came out of my room Saturday am, Cole said “Mom, look in the backyard.” Assuming he wanted me to see all the snow, I went into the bathroom to look out the window. I saw snow all right – but also saw our poor Tiki hut my husband had built two summers ago. One of the four posts had broken, and that corner of the roof was almost to the ground. It looked so sad! I texted Vini at the office; he already had plans to fix it when he got home. He said that post had not been set right initially and a lot of water had gotten into the base of it over the last 2 years; the weight of the snow finally did it in.
Meanwhile, Cole was hosting a Harry Potter Movie Marathon, with a total of ten friends. One had stayed over Friday night, and the rest kept coming. Of course they all came to the front door; I let a few of them in and finally started asking them to please go around to the back to save my living room hardwood floor.
Vini got home and started working on the Tiki. He asked Cole and a few of the guys to help him lift it so he could prop it up with the new post while he dug out the cement and readied the hole. So everyone trooped out and in again in their snowy boots – sigh.
My plans for the day had been to get the Christmas tree. Vini and I were going to walk over and get it, and carry it home. I decided not to interrupt his Tiki repair and to just go get it myself. How hard could it be to drag a tree 3 blocks, anyway? Especially with all the fresh snow to protect it from getting damaged.
So, I went and picked out the very first one I saw – it was perfect! Very tall, perfectly shaped, with a nice long single top for Gingajing (our Christmas angel, named by Cole as an infant) to sit on. I couldn’t imagine why the tree was still there, it was so perfect. Went to pay and was told they don’t take debit cards – I think I knew that but had forgotten. Walked next door to the Quickie Mart (not really but you know) to find their ATM out of cash. The guy refilled it from the cash register; said it was the third time already that day he had to fill it. I told him about the Christmas tree lot not taking credit and he got an ‘aha’ look on his face.
Went back, paid for the tree and made sure the fresh cut the guy made did not take too much of the trunk since I wanted that tree to stay tall. He then asked where my car was. “In the garage,” I replied cheerily. “I’m dragging it home.” “You’re dragging THIS tree? How far?” I told him it was only three blocks. No big deal, right?
I inspected the tree carefully to find the weakest side, which would end up going in the corner. That was the side I determined to drag it on, since any inadvertent flattening that happened on the way home wouldn’t be visible. I turned the tree weak side down, grabbed a foot or so up the trunk and pulled. Oof. It came, but not as easily as I had imagined it would. But along we went, out the lot and down the first sidewalk. I cringed when crossing the driveway to SuperAmerica; dirty slush instead of clean white snow to drag it through. But then I dragged it up an unplowed alley to clean it off.
That dam*ned tree was much heavier than it looked! The worst thing by far, however, was my insistence on dragging it on the weak side. Because the fullest (heaviest) branches were NOT at the bottom, physics demanded the tree to continue trying to roll over so the heaviest side would be down. I refused to let physics win, which meant I ended up taking all the weight of it’s attempt to roll onto the side of my forearm, where a rather strong lower branch was leaning. It HURT but I gritted my teeth and continued holding it in the least damaging position (to the tree, not to my arm!)
Three blocks never seemed so far. I did get there eventually, then had to go up our 12 front steps. Yay, we were home! Now to get it in the stand and into the house. I peeked around the back to see how Vini was progressing; he and the Jeep were gone to the hardware store so it was just me and the tree again. Before screwing it into the stand I – OOF! – stood the thing up and did my best to lift it up and down, shake it and do whatever I could to clean off most of the snow before bringing it into the house. I did what I could, then eyeballed for straightness, hoped for the best and screwed on the stand.
I went to open the front door. Locked! Luckily PJ, freaked out at the possibility that yet ANOTHER teenager was trying to come in, went crazy, and Cole heard him. He opened the door for me, moved the couch out of the way as I dragged seven feet of wet tree through the living room. “That’s a lot of snow, Mom,” he said. “I know,” I grunted, “I’ll clean it up.” Then Cole helped me get the tree to it’s “feet” and voila, it was perfectly straight! A miracle! I had about 15 seconds to appreciate it before I heard cascades of dripping water start to hit the floor. The tree was SOAKED! I ripped off my boots (God the floor was so trashed) and ran for towels. Laid three or four around the base of the tree, and got on hands and knees to dry the path the tree and my boots had made from the door to the corner.
Oh and I neglected to mention that while it was straight, it was TOO tall. The tree was bending on the ceiling! I had to get on a chair, REACH and cut off that nice long single branch I had been coveting for Gingajing’s perch. (NOW I knew why myriad others had passed it by – clearly they could tell it was much too tall. Maybe because I am so used to 6’4″ kids my ability to discern height is skewed.)
Vini did help me carry the Christmas box down from the attic, then I decorated everything myself since he had a soccer game and Cole had – 10 friends in the basement! I felt extremely accomplished, drinking my eggnog and listening to the Carpenters and gazing at MY tree. Of course, today I have one heckuva bruise on my forearm to show for my efforts! It impressed my coworkers however
All but two of the kids (who had already been collected by their parents) were still asleep downstairs when we left for the Vikings game late Sunday morning. They were like a pack of warm puppies (very LARGE puppies), two to a couch, four on the floor, snoring peacefully. I left a note saying “Thank you for the NICE CLEAN BASEMENT before you leave” and lo and behold, that’s what we came home to! That and blessedly, just the one teenager!