You try your darndest to get everything out and on the table before committing to that largest of commitments; the covenant of marriage. Truly. Children, Religion, expectations, living situations, shower schedules… we went over all of ‘em. Or so I thought. We tweaked our work schedules weekly to make room for pre-marriage counseling, read books, arranged and met with a mentor couple who had already waded through the vicissitudes inherent in the initial years of marriage. But you’re bound to miss something I suppose. It’s how you deal with those challenges that define the success of a budding marriage.
Frankly, I don’t know how we missed it. But when the subject of getting a Christmas tree for the holiday season came up Sarah stated off-handedly, “I’ve never had a real tree before.” I could have sworn I heard the Christ Child shudder in the crèche already laid out on our coffee table in expectation of advent. I knew Ohio was perhaps not the most verdant of the lower 48, but really….never a real tree?!
Luckily we live in Washington State where the state flower, bird and song are Norway Spruce, Balsam Fir and Colorado Pine respectively.
We headed up to the local mountain range-battery powered saws-all in hand-ready to conquer this marital obstacle with all the spit-and-vinegar of a young couple in love threatened.
It’s really a great process here in Washington. You merely stop by a ranger station and pay $10 dollars for the license. They then direct you to a fire road and you drive until you feel like you’ve reached the ideal altitude. It is then up to you to locate the perfectly shaped tree of ideal height, cut it down and haul it out. Unfortunately the aforementioned well-shaped trees of ideal height do not really exist out in the wild. We settled for a Charlie Brown-esque shabby looking thing with branches protruding from 180 degrees of the trunk (it was growing on a hill.) But just as a young starry-eyed couple can go to the pound, pick out the mangiest mutt in the place and love it sincerely, we can’t sing the praises of our tree enough. Because it lacks branches on half of itself, it pushes nicely up against the wall, saving us valuable space in our otherwise cramped apartment. The challenge of our shortage of Christmas ornaments was rendered insignificant as, in all honesty, the tree only has about 10 to 12 branches from which to hang anything. But it’s enough. And we love it.
The smell that greets us every day when we come home gives the requisite boost to our mood that the realization that it is once again the Christmas season rightfully brings. Nothin’ better.
Introducing Emelyn Ruth Bornstein
2 years ago