Sunday, December 21, 2008


When the snow falls, it’s easy to get carried away with photographing trees. A leafless tree is in itself dreary and uninspiring. Put it on a snowbank and suddenly it’s splendid.

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There’s something about the contrast that looks so modern. Suddenly, you, the photographer are creating art.

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But actually today I am focused on the Christmas tree. I picked it out early in December and it had been resting at Ed’s in the days when I was away. Until Friday night, when we loaded it onto his truck and drove it to the condo.

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Now, I have always assessed the size of Christmas trees by their height. And so when the nursery had told me that this one is about ten feet, I thought – fine. My ceiling is ten feet.

But just as people vary in their width and girth, apparently so do trees because this one is just so wide! And the trunk is like the torso of a heavyweight champ, weighing more, I’m sure, than two normal trees its height. So that even big Ed and determined me had trouble getting it on and off the truck.

And then it did not fit through the door. Branches had to come off. And it would not fit into the massive stand. Ed had to hammer it in. I almost returned it and asked for a baby sister in its stead, but Ed persevered and it is now standing.

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You need some perspective? Well, at 5’5” I hit about its middle. And when I lay down on the floor next to it, I find that there’s more tree beyond my feet and beyond my head.

I ask Ed if he has any ideas about getting it down and out at the end of the season. He tells me – the only way is to dump it over the balcony.

Now, I am on the rules and regulations committee of my condo association and I do not think that there is a rule about not dumping trees over your balcony, but nor is there a rule saying you can’t dispose of dead bodies in this manner and yet I feel someone would make a fuss if you did.

No matter. Let’s be Scarlettian about it and worry tomorrow. Today we have a tree and it is magnificent!


In the evening, the Chicago travelers pulled in and set to work.

This morning, this bitter bitter cold morning where the winds are howling and snow is drifting and I am assured it’s -30 F, what with all that wind and white stuff, I walk into the living room, turn on the lights and think how nice it would be to drink a warm cappuccino in front of the tree.

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