I couldn't believe my ears!
... On the other end of the phone line, Mother was saying there would be no Christmas tree at her house when I arrived. "After all", she rationalized, "Troy and Lois won't be travelling to Florida this year; and it's not my turn to host bridge club."
After we hung up, I was at a loss to identify my dismay.
Was there something wrong with her health she wasn't ready to share?
Had her finances suffered?
... Had she suffered a crisis of faith?
Ya, I've tendency to worry about the craziest things!
Truth be told, my perception of Christmas always included a tree. Not a stately creature whose delicate branches gently curve in unison.
Oh, nooooo! Not until DH and I found a pre-lit, faux evergreen on sale a few years ago ... most of the trees in my life may well be described as 'Charlie Brown' affairs. (Not sure if my father felt sorry for the misshapen creatures, or if there was a 'deal' to be had!)
|Mother and Troy, ca. 1981|
Mother and I were left to transform the ugly ducklings.
Bless her heart, there must have been scars on her tongue - not saying a cross word when I'd throw clumps of icicles in the direction of an exposed branch.
Then, there was the year our arms broke out in a rash from some nasty pink stuff billed as 'angel hair.'
Mostly, I remember the laughter.
Fast forward 40-some years, there was little laughter when my brand-new boss assigned me the task of decorating the lobby tree. Alone. Looking back, it's a wonder my association with the Company didn't conclude then and there!
Having no interest - and even less talent - I was sure I'd died and gone 'down there.' Only when a friendly engineer stopped by with a ladder and a bit o'wit did I find humor in the situation: In response to my grumbling, "I'd rather be scrubbing toilets", Glenn observed, "Well, that could be arranged."
For lots of reasons, our artificial tree remains in hibernation this year. We've visiting privileges to others' trees. And come to think of it, there's a brand new, nicely-adored tree in the lobby, just a few steps from my office!
Warming hugs from Phoenix!
Did I tell you? No, I don't think I did!
This may sound incredibly childish ... but every day after Christmas when I pass a sad, abandoned 'tree lot', my heart breaks a little for the un-chosen ones. A blogging friend who shall remain anonymous (it's HER story to tell, after all) recently shared a sweet story over breakfast:
One December 26 her hubby approached a vendor and made him an offer he couldn't refuse for the remaining trees. He brought them home and planted around the periphery of their property, and today they thrive! Isn't that neat?!