Friday, December 09, 2005

Quest For Tree

There used to be this Christmas tree farm. Every year about this time our family joined my sister-in-law’s family to drive out into the country and cut down our tree. We got a wagon ride out to the cutting area. There was a warming barn with hot beverages waiting for us when we got back with our freshly cut tree. Santa even visited for the kids. It was a great time. Then it closed. That was over five years ago.

Ever since, we’ve been on a quest to find the perfect Christmas tree farm. Just like the one that closed. We’re still looking.

Oh, there was this one place that was quite popular. They had horse drawn wagon rides out to the cutting farm. But our wagon was one drawn by a mule. Our driver commented on how mules were so much smarter than horses. In fact, he said that’s why mules were the preferred pack animal at the Grand Canyon . . . because a horse would run off a cliff rather than stop a gallop. A mule was smart enough to stop.

While the driver talked, the mule suddenly stopped. For the record, there was no cliff. While the horse drawn wagons went merrily on their way, we waited while our driver tried to get the mule to move. Maybe mules would be okay if your Christmas tree farm were at the Grand Canyon. But . . .

Still, the ride was nice, until we arrived at the "cutting area." These were the devil’s rejects of Christmas trees. Mutants all. Trees with crooked trunks or big dead spots, scraggly monsters that might have been subjects for some kind of radiation experiments, and a few that were too big for Rockefeller Plaza. No wonder that mule stopped. He was smart enough to know that we’d just want to turn around and come back to the parking lot.

Other farms have produced similar outcomes. I remember thinking once that we had to find SOMETHING. So we picked out this tree filled with dry needles, dead bugs, bits of ice, bat nests, etc. Some gentleman helped me put it on the "shaker," a vibrating machine which would shake it clean. I let go of the tree to put on my gloves as the machine kicked into gear, unfortunately showering tree debris all over my helper.

"I don’t work here, ya know!" he said angrily, letting go my tree. He was just doing a favor helping me to get it on the machine, he thought. Well, they say no good deed goes unpunished. Sorry about that.

Tomorrow we’re supposed to try yet another tree farm in the Ann Arbor area. I’m trying to talk my sister-in-law into just getting together and going out to Bob Evans instead. Maybe we’ll just hang a wreath this year.


Blogger Coppermine said...

I overwhelmingly prefer artificial trees. I know, I know... part of the fun is going out, getting a tree, taking it home, setting it up... but it really got to be such a hassle for me.

I was averse to the idea, but then i tried it, the artificial tree. It came in a box but was a snap to setup. It was perfectly symmetrical and the branches could support any ornament. Once it was decorated, I couldn't even tell... it looked magnificent and it didn't require watering, leave needles all over the carpet or emit a piney smell througout the house (which, growing up, my mother was always a allergic to).

Now the tree gets put in its box and unpacked every year. Don't need to spend money on a live tree, don't need to worry about hauling it home, don't have to worry about getting it through the door or set up, or cleaning up after it. I especially like not having to dispose of it.

Yes, I must say, the fake tree is great.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Wow. The tree hunting sounds great. . . like something out of Norman Rockwells paintings. I too use artificial trees. They're great until you fall into them while you're decorating. (LOL)

7:16 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, We tried to go to one of those Christmas tree farms last year but were disappointed with the trees. WE ended up buying the tree at the grocery store. The kids were in town at the same time, so we decorated the tree with our 3 yr. old grandson and ate ginger bread cookies and drank egg not. We took a really awesome picture of the kids and JJ. TF took a great picture on Thanksgiving, knowing that Bonnie would be out of town most of December. JJ is now 4 yrs old and we have our new granddaughter who is now 4 months old. Hope you find a good tree farm, as for us, it's back to the grocery store.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

The Gympie area abounds with pine forests, (cultivated for timber, lumber)
I have been known to select a specimen and return late at night and "acquire" a tree, but of late I must admit I've become a convert to the artificial variety.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Monique said...

Good luck finding the perfect tree farm and the perfect tree. We, alas, have settled on that old Florida tradition of the fake tree. We had real trees for a few years, until the year we got one with needles so sharp I massacred my hands putting up and taking down the ornaments. I was tired of vacuuming fallen needles all the time anyway. Still miss that wonderful scent, though.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

When you go to Bob Evans, make sure you get their sausage gravy. It's absolutely my favorite thing on the menu.

Maybe it's time for an artificial tree? :)

8:42 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Still no shortage of Christmas tree farms around Salem, Ore. Probably got 40 of the suckers...

10:16 AM  
Blogger schnoodlepooh said...

I vote for a non-traditional christmas mule. Sounds like it might stand still for you long enough to decorate it!

12:38 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

...I have a mental pic of Charlie Brown's little twig of a tree ;) Happy hunting!

9:08 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

I've had a fake tree forever and still hate it. It looke great at night when no other lights are on. During the day, it looks exactly like what it is...FAKE.

Don't ask why I still have a fake one because that's a whole nother story.

Maybe you should just go pick apples instead. No, wait, I guess they're all gone by now.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Gypsybobocowgirl said...

I gave up and just put up a plastic tree. I'm ashamed, but there are no tree's here in West Texas, so even if you get a real tree, it is too dry to be of any use.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:52 AM  

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