Yesterday we untrimmed the tree. I sure hated to see it go. . . Shirley Jean to her uncle Vance, January 1937
I guess kids in any era hate to see the Christmas tree go. I know I did. But I learned as I got older that taking down the Christmas tree is real work. As Christmas became New Year’s, the prospect of untrimming and putting away loomed large.
My mother was particular about her ornaments and the manner in which they were packed. Untrimming the tree and putting away the ornaments was a day’s work in itself, and – let’s face it – just not as much fun as trimming the tree.
To accommodate my country life, I have streamlined the process considerably. I wonder what my mother would say if she knew I hardly use my collection of ornaments, a good share of which she gave me. Helping her family amass ornaments was one of her missions in life. However, my tree goes up and comes down quickly, and that’s what’s important today.
Well, yesterday was the designated day of work at the farm. As we left the town house, a lone little snowflake danced before my face. By the time we reached the highway, more of them were dancing. They didn’t stick – there was no accumulation here in the valley -- but halfway up the Gilbert Grade, then it was another world, beautifully adorned in white. The grade became slippery and we went slowly in four-wheel drive. At the farm, we estimated 6 to 8 inches of snow. The little snowflakes continued to dance, but now they were adding to the accumulation.
I set to work untrimming the tree, finishing it within two hours. Then Mike used a sled to carry the tree to storage in the barn – sorta like “bringing home the Christmas tree” in reverse.
And then the work began in earnest. I unloaded the contents of the refrigerator into crates and boxes, added in a few things from the pantry that don’t fare well in the cold, and together we loaded the pick-up for the trip back to town. Then Mike set the mousetraps, turned off the water and drained the pipes.
It was about 2:30 when we left the farm, driving at a steady pace down the lane to the gulley at the bottom, and then up-up-up until we had topped Plank’s Pitch. “Made it!” said Mike. And on we went through the white world until, halfway down the grade, we were once again in warmer valley temps and out of the snow.
After we visited the landfill, we stopped near the airport to get a geocache. This picture is of the south side of the Clearwater, contrasting the snow of the high country with the drab winter brown of the valley.
And now I feel such relief! That seasonal work is done. KW