Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Old Christmas Treeeeee....

Where on Earth are you ?! Today, I opted to allow the boys and Princess skip school to accompany me, LLL and my parents, known to the kids as Gigi and Poppy, down to the family ranch out in the country to select a perfect Christmas tree from the wooded acreage. Poppy had been scouting out the property for a few weeks, so we had a few promising leads on tree candidates. The kids and I piled in the Herdmobile and headed south. We all met up first at the Tin Top Cafe... If you've never eaten there, you're missing out. There are no menus to peruse... The owner came and sat down at our table and asked us what we wanted. Straight to the chase. My kind of guy. Butch Cassidy , not knowing what was available to eat simply deferred to my Dad's judgement (Sir, I'll have whatever Poppy's having) and Sundance followed suit. Cracked me up that BC knew how to do that. After a large and filling breakfast (BC ate a plateful of food many grown men would've waved a white flag at) we headed over to the farm to start our Tree Mission. All 7 of us piled into Poppy's truck and headed out to the fields.

 BC got a chance to show off his gate opening skills (trust me, it was no small feat... A lot of people would've given up) so we could drive where we needed to go. On our way to the second stop to look at trees, BC demanded to walk by himself across the cow pasture to the next site. I allowed him to do it if he agreed to let me and LLL walk along with him... He begrudgedly agreed, then took off running across the pasture alone, weaving between cow patties and bounding like a colt on the way to a new adventure, as soon as the truck was far enough ahead of us for the threat of being put back in there was gone. We walked about a quarter of a mile ( with me toting LLL's 24 lb self) and found the perfect tree.

 Poppy got out the saw and cut it down and we piled it in the back of the truck. Took it back to the house and began the very interesting process of using a standard Christmas tree stand on a tree with a very skinny trunk.

 It took a nosedive a couple of times (with the boys shouting TIMBER!!!!!) but we eventually got it right. And wedged it between the wall and the gun safe and a small table to keep it stable.

Since the water in the house was turned off to prevent pipes from freezing, we drew water out of the well (its circa 1840, along with the original front part of the house... Back part of the house was added in 1923) to water the Christmas Tree. BC then got to ride the tractor with Poppy to go get a bale of hay for the cattle, and he thought he was hot stuff. Some people might criticize me for keeping the kids out of school on a whim and not due to illness. But I believe that there's a lot more to a person's education than just what they learn in school. Today my kids got to feed cattle, romp and explore, operate farm gates, and the joy of searching for the perfect tree to celebrate. That's not bad for an otherwise normal morning in December. 

And the memories they made are priceless. I also think its cool and satisfying for them to know they can go to the place their great-grandfather partly grew up and great-great grandparents lived. History, family and the satisfaction that comes from the simple things in life are invaluable, and I want my kids to relish in it.