#221 (the live tree)

Last week, S asked if I wanted to tag along this past Saturday with her and her family to get their Christmas trees. I had never been to a Christmas tree farm where you actually go traipsing out and around the various tree options. In past years when I have bought a “live” tree, I’ve purchased them from a tree lot. 

In Houston, many years ago, there were tree farms from the Pacific Northwest with their noble and Douglas firs. The prices were outrageous but like many others I would purchase these expensive items just to have that fresh, natural pine scent during the holidays. 

Well now that I live in the Pacific Northwest (ten years and counting), Christmas trees are affordable (around $40) when compared to $75 and higher when I lived in Houston. 

Tension rises…

Lately, I find it hard to actually relax when I’m in a family adventure with S. The reason is there are conversations quickly turn into heated quarrels. It’s almost immediate and comes without warning. Saturday wasn’t any different. S was fighting with her daughter then with her mother. 

“Should I say something?” I was thinking of pulling out the Obama phrase “just settle down “. I decided to just remain silent and do other things that took me away from the situation. So I popped open my iPhone and texted my sister – we always have a polite conversation – even via text. 

The tree picking…

We finally arrived at the farm where S have been buying her trees (for the last few years anyway). Since this was all new to me, part of the things I was doing in the car ride to the farm was research the farm’s operations. 

The farm allows you to bring your own saws or they have a service included in the cost of the tree where they cut and haul your tree from the field to the tree prepping area. They also shake the tree to remove the dead needles and then bail it all for free. You can’t beat that deal  for $40. 

Well of course, there was another argument with her father for not bringing his saws for the tree. This time I intervened and said, “they have a free service of cutting and bailing your tree. So we don’t need our own saws.”

My sister would have responded with “Oh! Well that’s even better!” And would have a smile on her face. 

But of course that wasn’t what S uttered. She bitterly responded, “but we always bring our saws!”  I gave up and walked towards a field of trees. 

The tree was found…

S followed me a ways until she lost sight of her youngest son, who was supposed to pick out their Christmas tree. About thirty minutes of walking and looking at trees (by myself), I heard S call my name. 

I looked up and she was motioning me to come  her direction. As I approached, I asked her. “Did your son find the tree?”  

“Yes and he picked a great looking tree.” She said smiling and pointing to the ATV pulling a small trailer with several trees piled into the trailer bed. 

Tree prepping…

We walked up the small hill back to the tree prepping area. She grabbed my hand and said excitedly. “I’m glad you joined us in getting our trees!”  I thanked her for involving me in their tradition of hunting Christmas trees in a tree farm. 

We watched as their trees were prepped. First was the shaking of the tree to remove the loose and or dead needles. Then the workers threaded the trees through a bailer where the machine created a mesh from twine and wrapped the tree. It was like making a Christmas tree sausage. Not really, but sort of the same process. 
I think the next time I buy a “live” tree, I’ll buy one from a farm. 

#singleasianmale #christmastree #treefarm

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