This weekend contains one of those moments.
Since I was young, my parents bought a fresh Christmas tree every year. Mom loved the smell. Dad loved the hunt. He would take my brother and me to the various Christmas tree sellers within a ten-mile radius, and we would carefully examine each tree. One year, we ended up with a spray painted one from a Scotty’s. That home improvement store went out of business a year or so later. Another year, we tied the tree to a conversion van’s ladder and carefully drove it home. This year goes in the books as one of the more exciting tree hunting experiences.
Since I got married, my husband and I often join my parents on their Christmas tree hunt. Dad brings a trailer, we tie the trees down, and they drop us and the tree off at our home before proceeding back to theirs. This year, my parents weren’t in town the day after Thanksgiving leaving my husband and me with an important choice. Wait for Mom and Dad to come home, ask his parents for help, or go on our own. Loving adventures–and always hoping for stories–I begged to go alone. So we did.
We took our ancient Corolla, drove to my favorite tree hunting location, and picked out just the right one. Then it came time to strap it to the car roof. We tied it down tight and, satisfied with our job, headed on our way.
The car accelerated to forty-five miles an hour, the wind began to blow, and the tree began to pivot right off the top of the car. Seeing it was headed straight my way, I rolled down my window, grabbed the boughs, and held on. And continued to hold on the rest of the way home. Between the wind and the less than aerodynamic tree, it was a struggle to keep it feeling secure at 35 miles an hour. The game of pushing and holding became even more interesting when cars sped past us at 60 miles an hour, which is the proper speed limit.
Forty minutes later, I wrenched my exhausted hand from the tree. We had made it, and the tree and I are both in one piece. Best of all, we had an adventure worthy of the usual Christmas tree adventures.