Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Festival of Trees - The Tree I Won. Henceforth Known as "The Tree Event"
The good news is that we are still married. It was kind of touch and go there for awhile.
This story starts on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Actually, the subject of visiting the Festival of Trees came up the night before. Grandma Quantrell had gone on a 'field trip' to see the Festival of Trees at Living Care. She loved it so much that she wanted me to go.
And the funny thing is, I had already decided I would pick up Hayden from school and take both he and Khloe to see the trees. And reindeer. And have hot cocoa and cookies.
So we did just that. In the freezing rain, literally, we rode the shuttle bus to the Festival of Trees. We sang "The Wheels on the Bus" while riding the shuttle. We checked out the soaking wet reindeer. We walked the Festival of Trees walkway. We voted for our favorite trees. (Hayden loved the Seahawks tree, Khloe loved the snowman tree, and I loved the coppery decorated one.) We had hot cocoa and cookies. Khloe talked to a real live princess (she was wearing a crown).
And I bought one raffle ticket.
The Festival of Trees was, after all, a fund raiser for the senior community. I loved the forest theme of the Yakima Valley Vineyard Tree and dropped my raffle ticket in the box, with absolutely no expectations. It was just a beautiful tree.
And we went home.
Saturday evening, my honey (notice he is my honey at this point in the story) and I were at a retirement party. I received a message. Listening to it, I was thinking, Hey, I don't know any Jennifer.
And then she got to the part where I had won the tree!
Talk about excitement and surprise. Which was immediately replaced by concern about how big was the tree actually, and how would we get it home, and how would we make it beautiful after the transport?
If I was thinking these things, you can bet the man was thinking them. And beginning to problem solve.
But first, he just grumbled. I knew he was not as happy about my win as I was.
That was when the fun began.
First. How to get the tree home. The very big tree. For us, it was only about 7 blocks. But it was a big tree. Nine feet of tree. With many, many ornaments. And, we found out, a mini wine barrel, bottles of wine, pretend presents, and all sorts of additional cool things that made the tree a knock-out beauty.
After borrowing a van from work (thank you!), we headed to the Festival of Trees. Where our tree was plastic wrapped in an attempt to keep the ornaments in place.
Just in case you want to know, nine feet of tree plus ornaments do not stay in place, regardless of plastic wrap.
On the Living Care end, they had excellent help. It took six men, at least, to maneuver our tree into the van. I counted the pairs of feet. It was heavy. "You need to get some help," we were told, "this baby weighs a lot."
Here is the hitch. My husband. He's a man. A man. A man who does not care to ask for help. Did not want to disturb the neighbors. They might be busy. Or gone. Or sleeping. We can do it ourselves. (Note: This man is wonderful when someone else needs help. He will drop what he's doing and rush right in the middle of things. But asking for help? Think again. I might add, this is a reoccurring theme in our marriage. With sometimes painful results and threats of sending him back home with his mom.)
Well. Without help, we managed to drag, damage, destroy, and smash the tree through the front door. It came apart into three separate pieces. Which came in useful later on. Kevin sustained major nerve damage in one hand, pinching a nerve when the folding tree branches folded across his wrist. Because he would not ask for help. And the short wife wasn't tall enough to keep all the important parts off the ground.
Also, at this point, we were very angry with each other, and certain things were said that should not be repeated in polite society. Maybe the neighbors would have helped, but were afraid to intervene. Let's just say that we both later apologized.
The tree, in three barely connected parts, strangled with plastic wrap nooses, lay mangled on the floor. Disappointment filled the house. I left to do my prep for a certain 'procedure' the next day while my man worked hours trying to fix the problem. After sawing off a part of the base, and still NO GO on the tree actually fitting in our house, I realized the parts of the tree. "We should just take off the bottom part of the tree."
Duh. Yes. We both should have said, "Duh."
After that, the man worked miracles. Even with removing a third or so of the tree, he did a wonderful job rearranging ornaments, swags, owls, pinecones, feathers, and lights. What we have now is again the gorgeous tree that I chose as recipient of my raffle ticket. A beauty to the eye of this girl. And her kitties.
Oh, and by the way, it may be a year-round-tree. The man does not want to touch it again. Not to mention that the complexity of the tree and its' ornaments is worthy of some sort of prize in organic structure and planning.
Feel free to drop in and see our monument to the strength of long-term marriage.
P.S. Grandma Quantrell was in my camp. She was ecstatic about my tree win, having seen it. She also appreciated the struggle the tree represented, having lived through many such situations when Grandpa Quantrell was alive. You could say she had first hand experience with similar 'events.'