Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Oh $%*t Christmas Tree Redux

So, as many of you know, we haven't always had the best luck with Colorado Christmas Trees. We got our tree a little earlier this year than usual. For the last couple of years, we've gone with the Valade-Hester clan to hunt trees in the national forest. This year was to be no different, except a work trip for me overlapped with the weekend we were going to go, and we wanted to get a tree up before our annual Christmas Vacation party. So, Eric and I headed out on our own the day after Thanksgiving to cut find our tree.

Because we were going early, the forest that we usually going to wasn't issuing permits yet. Fortunately, only a little ways further, the national forest hear Lake George was. We picked up our permit and were issued a map... of the entire forest acreage. Unlike our usual forest, which was quite restrictive as to where you could and couldn't cut trees, in this forest, anywhere was fair game.

With the entire forest available, we started driving the service roads, searching for candidates. Since we have a two story ceiling in our front room, we decided that it would be fun to have a tall tree this year. We evaluated a number of candidates, until we thought we found the right one.

It looked a little... full.

But it was tall, and the trunk was straight, an absolute criteria for us since that one time.

So we cut it.

The National Forest requires that any culled tree be no larger than 6 inches in diameter at the base. Ours was exactly 6 inches in diameter, which may be the first time in memory that we had a trunk large enough to not require additional blocks to hold it in the stand.

I have no idea how tall it was, but, confession, we left a good two feet of it in the forest, even though you are technically supposed to take the whole thing. In our defense, we had to get that thing on top of HailNo, and let's face it, I don't deadlift well. Even after the trim, that thing was ridiculously heavy. Like 300 pounds, easily.

We did, in fact, get it home safely, but getting it off the car was a different story. I absolutely did drop the tree on my head, and gave myself a bit of a black eye, because that tree was heavy and the car door got in the way of me dropping the tree all the way to the ground.

Yep, that happened.

We managed to get the tree up, and we sprayed the tree down to wash away dirt, and fend off critters. We let it dry in the sun for a bit, then hauled it in, spraying a good many needles all over the floor as we shoved it through the door.

It was a little full. And tall.

As in, we had to get the big ladder out to decorate. And had to go to the store to get more lights, because our supply didn't do the trick.

But we got it decorated. It took every ornament we had.

The tree was a thirsty tree. It took multiple fill-ups a day. I was tempted to add some pop to the water, but I resisted.

After the tree was up, we decorated the rest of the house, and then I packed for my trip, which I was due to leave on Thursday morning.

The night before my trip, I woke up at 3am. There was a very distinctive noise in the living room.

A glass-breaking, ornament cracking, crashing noise.

"Was that the tree?" Eric asked.

I knew the answer, but I got up to look anyway.

The perfectly straight-trunked, extremely heavy, full tree was face-down in the couch, after obviously having a temper tantrum and throwing ornaments everywhere, breaking about 15.

I'm pretty sure we are going to have glitter in the couch for the next 100 years.

We spent the next hour and a half cleaning up, and hauling that tree back upright. We leaned it against the back wall so it wouldn't fall over again.

And then I left for Mexico. What else could I do? While I was gone, Eric went to the store, found 50 lb test fishing line and circle anchors designed to hold porch swings up, and anchored the beast to the wall.

It's going nowhere. We are going to need spackle and paint when this is over, not to mention a professional upholstery cleaner, but the tree is standing.

It's still a little full, lot of sap (mostly on the hardwood floor.)


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