Poor Thing


Ah, the end of the holidays, Always a bit of a letdown. Always a bit sad. The lights come down. The decorations get boxed. The colorful paper gets recycled. And the tree gets tossed out onto the lawn.

Usually we cut our own tree. The tradition, several years old now, has been to cut a tree from a nearby tree farm the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We have found a tree at more than one local tree farm and it has always been a memorable experience. A couple of years ago, for example, it was warm enough that my son wore shorts. To cut a Christmas tree. No one-horse open sleigh hauling the tree out of the woods for us. Memorable.

This year we went away right after Thanksgiving. To Florida of all places. Because we were spending several days in the Sunshine State we would be spending fewer days in front of the Christmas tree at home. My wife insisted that this meant we had fewer days to celebrate. So we got a tree before Thanksgiving. The tree farms were not ready for us that early, but they had them at the hardware store. We all hopped in the van and picked one out together. We did not need to bring a saw. The tree came from a local tree farm. We stuffed it into the back of the van and drove it home. Memorable.

Today the tree lies, still in its stand, on the frozen lawn. Now, typically it would find a home in the brush pile over in the strip of woods to the north of the house. And it will find a home there. Eventually. Needles were falling off it so readily, however, that my wife carried it as carefully as she could to the porch before giving it a heave. More needles fell off when it hit the frozen lawn. We have never had a tree shed needles like that. We filled a paper grocery bag with those needles. Dry summer I guess.

I know I should move the poor thing. There isn’t much dignity in bringing so much light and joy to a household and then lying naked in the cold, waiting for some decent soul to give you a purpose again, say, maybe, as a home for mice or chickadees. I will get to it. Honestly, I just don’t think of it. I go out to look at the moon and I think “I really need to haul that puppy off to the brush pile.” But it is cold and I need some gloves and then I go inside to drink tea and I forget about it again. Not very grateful, I know.

We have a long weekend coming up. Maybe I will get to it then. Unless I forget. Again. Maybe I just need to make a point to go out and look at the moon more often. That would do it. Win win as they say. Win win.

Green and Yellow

Sunflower Finally Blooming

Sunflower Finally Blooming

Those were the colors of the morning–green and yellow.  Our one sunflower bloomed a couple of days ago and this morning it was big and bold as we walked out the meet the schoolbus. The seeds were old.  We got them, if I remember right, at a wedding. It was a nice touch for the wedding.  I wonder of the seeds handed out actually were planted.  There were a dozen seeds in the little brown envelope when I planted them at the end of June.  Only one grew.  It is, I have to admit, quite the flower.  My hope is that it will go to seed and we can plant the seeds next year.  As there are few sunflowers growing around here right now, however, I am not sure it will get pollinated.  I’ll find out if it has any seeds in a couple of weeks I suppose.

White Pine Needles

White Pine Needles

The other colorful item on this short walk was the pine needles.  The yellow ones are shedding and dropping to the grass, so we had yellow on green on the ground.  Of course, the trees themselves are decked out in green and yellow as well.  My son said this:  “I like it a lot better when the trees and green and yellow, not not just all green.”  It was rather striking this morning.   Perhaps it was the light–low clouds but the sun low as well–that made the colors stand out.  Fall is here, right on schedule.  With more colors to come.