Having Leftovers @ Midnight
It's almost a new day, the only illumination outside coming from fresh snow glowing under the streetlight.
I'm sitting here at the table in the Dining part of the Dining/Living/Computer/Family Room in the Little-House-On-The-Corner.
The Christmas Tree is plugged in and sparkling as I, rebelling against wise and prudent judgment, sip a cup of the Elixir of Knowledge and occasionally walk to the window to scare the deer away from the birdfeeder that hangs right outside. They keep banging it against the window.
Which is rather distracting, and slightly unnerving, when on tries to pontificate. Or drink coffee.
The Elixir does its initial job, gently lifting memories out of dust-covered boxes in the attic of my mind.
Oh. This one. Yeah. Hey, wait. I've seen this one kinda recently.
I flip back to the Garage on its original site and after some rummaging through the archives, find what I was looking for. "The One". Yeah.
Given the time of night, I am going to just pull the Scribe's version of Leftovers, reheating a previous post through the wonders of "copy & paste". I hope you don't mind. And if you do, you might wanna read something else. I completely understand either way.
"The One" from the Garage Archives, 12/24/2012
I was chatting with the Sister Here about Christmas Past.
Sister Here lives here in the woods. Sister There doesn't live here. She lives there.
Sister Here recalled the Treks to HyVee to get the annual Christmas Tree. The conversation and multiple cups of the Elixir brought back memories of a Christmas tradition I had almost forgotten.
We kids are basically two years apart with me being the oldest, then Sister Here, and finally Sister There. It was around 4th or 5th grade my time when we began the Treks.
The Treks began when Mom thought we could cross Merle Hay Road on our own without becoming roadkill.
The Treks gave a whole new meaning to the idea of growing up fast. We could duck a truck with the best of 'em.
The day of the Trek would find Mom shrink-wrapping us in coats. It was usually a cold, windy day but speed trumped warmth. The near-death experience of air horns and skidding tires could keep a kid warm for days. Even if naked.
We'd take my sled since it was the biggest and off we'd go, waddling toward an adrenaline-laced game of Reality Frogger and the hope of the perfect tree.
Every year a long, double line of Christmas trees stoically waited our arrival, leaning patiently against the side of the HyVee Grocery Store, holding up the white-painted cinder blocks.
The trees all suffered from "bed head" due to being stuffed in the back of a semi trailer. This necessitated the fluffing of each tree. Sometimes twice if we didn't recognize it again.
We would pick through this temporary forest, holding up a prospect, dropping it, propping it back up and then watching it fall in the other direction. Balsam and pine pitch soon made our mittens as tacky as 3M PostIts. And impervious to those backhanded swipes for runny noses.
We didn't realize it at the time, but the same thing happened every year. Like clockwork.
An unconscious ritual that led to the finding of "The One" and the ensuing "Blessing" to make it official.
Usually it was Sister There, the youngest, who found it first.
If it had been a puppy, it would be the runt of the litter with a broken tail and missing an ear.
The liturgical litany began its annual chant, building up to "The Blessing"
"It looks lonely."
"No one will take this one home. It'll be left by itself!"
And then "The Blessing", crowning it as "The One".
"Don't worry, little tree, we love you."
Onto the sled it went, to be towed back home with happy hearts, quick feet, and more adrenaline.
Chattering excitedly as the layers were peeled away, we told Mom about the cutest, most loveable tree in the world. She would smile somewhat sadly.
"Oh. Another one of those."
By the third tree, she wouldn't even go outside to look at it. She'd just bring up the drill, wire, nails, and hammer from the basement and have fresh pot of coffee ready for Dad when he got home.
Coincidentally, three Christmases after our initial Trek an American Holiday tradition was born. Coca-Cola decided to sponsor "A Charlie Brown Christmas".
And guess what kinda tree ol' Chuck brought back?
Yep. He found the One.
We and Charlie Brown were sled-pulling geniuses.
But Dad had another way of phrasing it which always got a "shushing" from Mom.
I don't think he was a fan of Charlie Brown.