Friday, December 02, 2011

December doings

Morning. I come down to fix breakfast, I reach across the counter to turn on the Nespresso and... well now, that’s interesting. I notice that on the plate next to it – the one where I keep fruits and tomatoes, one quarter of a Roma has been chomped off.

Do mice eat tomatoes?

Out comes the mousetrap, just in case. With peanut butter. I’m hoping that a tomato loving mouse hasn’t lost a natural lust for peanut butter.


Tomorrow, my daughters have scheduled a family tree trimming in the older one’s home. I’m happy about that. But a farmhouse without a tree seems too odd, too not me, too much a departure from the holidays and traditions that I’ve always followed.

I thought at first I’d get a scraggly left-over tree – the one no one wants, to put up just a day before Christmas. But that’s too short of a period of glory, especially because Ed and I are packed and out of here soon after the holidays.


The cafĂ© is a good place to speculate out loud about such imponderables as tree or no tree. Last night Paul, the proprietor, suggested that I do what his family does – place one's faith (and ornaments) on a potted tree, grown indoors, each year bigger, just an inch or two, but there, never discarded, never robbed of its dignity.

I could argue about that: from the perspective of the tree, what’s better – years of life in the forest, followed by a spell of adornment and adoration inside someone’s home, or an indifferent life in a pot, hauled this way and that, but never quite admired as much, never eliciting the oohs and aahs, with cramped roots bursting to be released, just once to push against the heavy soil...

In driving downtown to grocery shop, I pass a nursery and the die is cast. A potted tree it will be. Bound roots and all. Welcome, tree. (Here it is several hours later. Standing proudly, not too far from the soon to be returned TV.)


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On my trip downtown, I have some holiday moments. Gift getting.


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Browsing. But not too long. Home, I needed to return home to the prettily yellow farmhouse...


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... which looks especially dignified and lovely on a day when the sky is as blue as... the blue spruce?


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My mind is on pine trees.


Ed has a gift coupon for Menards. When I tell him I am on the prowl for lights to make the little tree festive, he suggests a late drive there.
We spend a long time sifting through holiday lights.
How about these?
Fine.
No, let’s go with the LEDs
Fine.
On the other hand, LEDs are expensive.

Next to us, a woman and her son are loading box after box of lights into a shopping basket.
Don’t get door lights, the husband mumbles. They’re a mess.
Ignore him, the woman says.


At home, I find holiday music on the radio and I place the string of colored lights on the potted tree. I save a box of white ones for the doorway. Ed goes to the shed to find an extension chord. Five minutes later, we have a (potted) Christmas tree.


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