The Suitcase Lady


December 13, 2016, 10:28 pm

We had a Charlie Brown Christmas tree last year. These things happen sometimes.

As I left for work one morning, my husband informed me that he would be buying our Christmas tree that day. Returning home in the evening, I looked around for the pine tree but saw none. Then, I spotted a sad look on my spouse’s face.

Somehow, he said, every Christmas tree lot we had ever gotten a tree from was out of business. He promised to go searching again the next day.

The following night when I got home the sad look was still there. “We do have a tree”, he said,”if you can call it that”. A spindly, thin, little tree with one bare side was propped against the garage wall. He got the last tree on the only tree lot he could find.

The next day my husband cut off  some of the tree’s lower branches, drilled holes in the trunk and, in general, rebuilt the tree. We were happy with our Charlie Brown tree as any real tree is a joy and a miracle.

Last week I had a brilliant idea for this year’s tree. I suggested that we search around on the bottom of our cliff at the beach and cut our own tree. We know there are little self-planted pine trees there, volunteers, but they are hard to find in warmer months because of the tangle of vegetation. We also know that many of these tiny trees were swept out to the lake by the dramatic rise of the lake’s water level this past summer.

We climbed down and explored our own land. Many one and two foot seedlings had escaped the waves. And then we found a real tree…..five feet tall, not dense, but nicely proportioned.

“It’s a genuine Christmas tree”, I exclaimed as we both stared at it. After a short while we looked at each other and didn’t have to say a word…….we both knew we couldn’t saw the tree down. The tree had planted itself and braved five or more years of waves and wind and hungry animals. It deserved to keep reaching for the sun.

This week my husband will resume the search for a small, farm raised tree. I wish him luck…..plastic seems to be the in thing now.


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