My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, December 29

Christmas Trees . . . and Needles

This is the time when everyone begins to think about reversing the process, taking all the Christmas decorations down, taking the tree down. All those years we used to have a live tree, beginning with ones that were about seven feet tall, slowly shrinking in size as the years went by. What a pain it was to put on the light strings, then the garland, then the balls and trinkets saved from years gone by. But it was always beautiful, always, as we would invariably say, the best tree we ever had.

But then we had to take it down, putting all the light strings away in confusing tangles, the garland rewound on rolled newspapers, the balls back in their age-yellowed boxes. And the needles. Needles everywhere. Dry, clinging needles we could never get vacuumed entirely, still hiding in rug crevices to be found the following year. We even continued to have live trees after we moved to Arizona, only much smaller than previously, shrinking from those seven-footers to five feet. Still, however, with the dried needle problem. About ten years ago I began making my own tree. I would hang heavy cord from the shelf above our mirrored wall down to the floor, fanning them out in a cone shape, anchoring them with an assortment of heavy stuff. Then I’d string lights and garland just as with a live tree, then the bulbs and other ornaments. And, with the house lights off and the tree lights on, it actually looked like a Christmas tree.
And no needles. That lasted for five or six years, and then we got smart enough to buy a small artificial tree, four feet tall, fiber-optically lit. Out of the box and onto a sheet-draped table.
That’s it. And putting it away is just as simple, back into the box and out to the garage until next year, next Christmas. And the way time has been flowing by, next Christmas is only five or six months away.
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