The Sunday before the Sunday before. It’s classic. The family comes tomorrow. I am scrambling to get the condo up to snuff. I scrub every surface. Ed pushes a very serviceable and efficient vacuum. I look out. Why does daylight disappear so quickly? This isn’t Estonia! Since when does dusk fold in at four?
We drive to the sheepshed so that he can get the truck shoveled free of snow. We’ll load the tree and drive it to the condo.
Except that the truck is stuck in drifts of snow and ice.
It’s no use, he tells me.
And I want to shake him: what do you mean, no use? The tree must go up, the holiday season must push forward, the family starts trickling in tomorrow. No use is not an option.
We try again. Ed pushes the truck, as I rock it back and forth. We get it past the ice and accumulated snow. (I wonder why I am wearing sensible shoes rather than warm and comfy boots. My feet are so cold!) We carry the tree and roll it into the back of the pick up.
I think this is as close as I can get to an American tableau (in my mind’s eye): a snow bank, a pick-up truck, a Christmas tree. A quarter moon, the stillness of a snow-covered field, the face of a cat staring at you from the sheepshed window.
We drive back to the condo and eat sushi.
Like I said, a classic.
the one left behind, in the field