Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Tree Farm

It’s that time of year again…the time when we go to the tree farm and select our Christmas tree.

This has been difficult, since Katie passed away. It makes me miss her more, because we should all be having a good-natured argument about which tree we like best, the way we used to do! Four of us, four opinions, and the joy of tramping around in the fresh air, among hundreds of beautiful trees from which we are free to choose.

So this year, it occurred to me to invite some friends, who have young boys, to join us. Tom & Marisa drove over from the city, and brought their twins and their dog, Spooky, with them.

We started out with lunch, and a few turns on the rope swing in our yard. Then we drove to the tree farm, and began walking downhill towards the lower acreage of the farm. The boys, their dad and David began a rousing game of tag. This was a lot of fun, since there were trees of many different types, sizes and shapes behind which to hide; there is also a canal that runs through the bottom of the property. Time was spent jumping across this canal.
Tree Farm & Brogans 035
Tree Farm & Brogans 033Tree Farm & Brogans 036
Tree Farm & Brogans 037a No one fell in.
It was chilly, so after a brief dog play-date with a pack of other people’s canines, we headed back up the hill to look at our favorites:  the Noble Firs. We selected our tree, and Gregg got underneath it in order to cut it down. David held the top steady.
Tree Farm & Brogans 040 Nice view, I know.
Meanwhile, our friends considered which tree would be the best for them. Then Tom lay down on the ground to cut the chosen one. David again steadied the tree. I love these photos.
Tree Farm & Brogans 042Tree Farm & Brogans 046
Tom is a gifted physician; we met him when Katie was in the ICU, during our first week at Children’s Hospital - before we even knew what type of cancer she had.  He was a compassionate and wonderful support to us, all through her treatment and illness. His wife is also a physician, and a lovely lady. It’s so different – and it’s fun - to see Tom lying on the ground, cutting down a Christmas tree, with his family gathered around. Katie is the reason we have the gift of this friendship; I only wish she was here to enjoy it with us.

We carried the trees to the shed, where we paid for them, and bought hot cider to ward off the chill. Then we tied the trees to our respective cars, and headed home, to enjoy some French wine and Thai food. The boys continued playing games with David: Monopoly and something electronic (I don't recall what game).
Tree Farm & Brogans 049
For some reason, this reminds me of a Norman Rockwell scene.
I loved sharing this tradition with friends, especially for the benefit of their boys…although I think the adults had more fun with the tree-cutting part of the day; the boys enjoyed our rope swing and the game of tag.

I hope your Christmas traditions bring you joy.


Kay said...

Such a beautiful day. Glad nobody 'fell in'. : ) Would love to see your tree all done up. All those spaces just begging to be filled.

Sometimes loss shines the brightest in the midst of simple pleasures. :(

Elizabeth said...

I don't know why, but this post made me cry a bit. I miss Katie, too, I think -- miss seeing her smiling, beautiful face with the others. Thank you for posting, Karen. Thank you for your beautiful spirit and hope and joy.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is a beautiful day and I am so glad you shared it with us. I laughed out loud about your comment of Greg cutting the tree...my first thought was: wow, nice view. Because that is how my little immature brain works. But apparently, so does yours. :)
I like to think that Katie is hovering over...helping in her own way of choosing your trees and enjoying your family day.
I concur with Kay and Elizabeth as well.

ChiTown Girl said...

I loved this post. Especially the photos of the kids jumping. So cute!! I miss having a real tree for Christmas. It always made the whole house smell so awesome!

Karen said...

Ditto on what Kay said. I miss Joey like you miss Katie. Lovely way to add love to a bittersweet tradition-inviting dear friends along, who understand.

Love the gorgeous noble--my favorite tree, too.

Wishing you all comfort this season.

Daisy said...

Karen, you amaze me. What a wonderful idea to reach out to others and share your tradition.


Dreamer girl said...

This is Dorothy from Smoking BLues and Lacing Shoes. My students made blankets again. Could I send them to you to deliver and if you do could you videotape pictures of the hospital and maybe leave a message for my students? Let me know. I think you still have my email.

Karyn said...

The fifth picture of David jumping is so awesome!