Saturday, December 5, 2009

Egads! What have I done?!

A few days ago I pulled this photo of a snowstorm we had in 2006 out of one of my folders and used it as my desktop wallpaper. I'm not a big fan of snow, but I couldn't find an appropriately sized holiday photo to use and settled on this one. BIG MISTAKE!!!!!!

Here's the view today. It's 3:00 and it's still coming down solidly, just northwest of our Nation's Capital.
Okay, I'll have to agree that it is pretty, and it's festive, and it's appropriate, since I'm trying to do some holiday decorating today. Last night they predicted a couple of inches starting at around 4:00 and tapering off during the night. Just enough to ruin the First Saturday holiday festivities we may or may not have attended (luminarias, street performers, horsedrawn carriage rides, cookies and hot chocolate served by the local merchants having special holiday sales.)

But look closely, it's only 3 p.m., and darned if the accumulation on that railing doesn't already exceed 3 inches, with no sign of the white stuff slacking off anytime soon. Sigh.....

Well, if we're snowed in for the rest of the weekend, I'm ready. Vodka? Check. Vermouth? Check. Big jar of large olives? Check.

The ingredients to make a big pot of chili and a pan of cornbread are on the kitchen counter, and there's veggies for a salad in the crisper. Perfect.

This morning we were crazy enough to drive to Buckeystown to chop down not one, but two Christmas trees. It started as rain, and turned to snow at 8:15 as we were pulling out of the driveway. At first I thought this would be a good thing, as I'd rather be snowed on than rained on, and come on, how picturesque to drag a freshly cut Frasier fir through a snow-covered field. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The snow was wet, very, very wet. The field was muddy, very, very muddy. By the time we had found and cut down the first tree, a reasonable 7-footer for the living room, the wet had soaked through my boots and I was standing in what felt like an inch of freezing icewater inside my boots, in my stocking feet. My rain jacket had also soaked through to the sweatshirt I had on underneath, and my gloves...let's just say that every few minutes I pulled them off my hands and wrung them out so they wouldn't be so heavy.

We headed back to the fields to find another Frasier that was at least 9 feet tall. At this point I'm seriously thinking about just getting over the fact that the trees at Home Depot have already been there for a month and packing up the first tree and heading to the Depot, but my inner voice kept reminding me how much I fretted over last year's Home Depot balsam drying out (in fact, I wasn't happy with that tree the minute it went into the stand), and we slogged on. I can't tell you how many  muscles I pulled to  keep myself from falling on my face every time I tripped over a stump of a tree that the smart people cut last weekend (when the weather was sunny, dry, and 60 degrees). Suffice it to say that sitting here typing is painful.

The trees you  have already walked past and rejected look a whole lot better the second time around, when you're soaking wet, freezing, and limping along in the mud. We find a tree, the hubs throws down his soaking wet towel that he had brought along to lay on while sawing, and commences to saw through what must be the fattest, hardest tree trunk man has ever encountered. The tractor back to the parking lot has come and gone and he is still sawing, making noises like he's having a heart attack with every pull of the saw.

Finally he's gotten it far enough through that I'm able to throw myself against the tree and it falls to the ground, where he can now get out of the pool of slush he has been lying in and cut through the rest of the way.

Okay, I'll grab the top and you grab the bottom and we'll drag it up to the tractor ruts and wait for our ride. Except, I can't pick the top of the tree up with my one frozen, sopping hand. It is WAY to heavy for me. He's able to drag it up the hill, with me leading the way to trip over the stumps so that he doesn't have to.

After 20 minutes or so, it becomes evident that there is not going to be a tractor coming to get us. We can hear them all around us in the other field. Each chugging sound brings false hope. The people standing down the path from us give up and drag their tree back, but we can't do that because we've cut down the mother of all firs and it weighs far too much for the hubs to drag the half mile back to the lot.

I set off through the mud to see if I can wrangle him a ride, and leave him at the side of the path, cold, wet, and getting wetter by the minute. Back at the ranch, while I kept telling the tractor drivers and farmhands that he has been waiting there for 30 minutes, no one apparently is going that way, as all of the other crazy people wanting to cut trees want to visit fields in the opposite direction. Finally, I was able to convince one of the tractors taking someone out to another field to swing by and get him (possibly because I looked so crazed, or maybe my use of the words 'heart attack' and 'ambulance' got his attention. It's just too bad I didn't have the saw with me....that might have got their attention sooner).

He went after the hubs and brought him and the tree almost all the way back (don't ask), and I got a couple of the guys shaking and netting trees to bring the monster tree that was unceremoniously dumped, along with the hubs, back to the parking lot.

They're both sleeping in the van (the trees, not the hubs). Maybe we'll get one inside today, maybe we won't. Somehow, it just doesn't seem to matter as much as being able to feel my fingers and my toes again.


  1. I'm so jealous! I probably wouldn't have much, if any snow in Dumfries, VA if I were there now but out here in Clarksville, TN, I've got NONE. Where's our snow?! WAH!!!

    Enjoy it and hopefully you will get a snow day tomorrow b/c we know how everyone in DC metro reacts to snow!

  2. Hi Susan,

    Roberta here - been having Susan withdrawl and remembered your blog - glad I thought of it - your post was a great way to start my morning!

    Can't wait to see pictures posted once you have the trees up - I know one if the traditional family tree - what will the other be?

  3. Hey Roberta! The other Frasier is the 1950s vintage tree. Bubble lights, Shiny Brites, glass bead garland and tinsel.


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