Ah yes. The promised second part of the tree story. Of course other things were happening in the field as Terrance dragged the behemoth to the edge of the field.
You see, internet friends, I occasionally attempt to be NICE. You know, give it the old college try for the benefit of my child. I stand with the farmer - Elwood - and listen to his stories of farm hardship. I smile at him and thank him for having such a lovely farm. I express how much we missed cutting down our own tree.
Now I have NO problem with grizzled old farm types. Living in Vermont and New Hampshire has familiarized me with these types of people. I usually stand there and agree that the world is going straight to hell. That farming is a losing proposition. That I recognize that he works too hard for too little money. And that the banks suck ass.
This is the moment that Elwood injects the truly gruesome and macabre into our fun family outing. He tells us of his mauling in October by his tractor. The one coming to pick us up. Emily's eyes grow wide. The other mother standing in the field with us looks horrified. But Elwood? Ignores all signals coming from his captive audience. We hear of his hospital stay. The morphine. The weeping wound. The stitches. And then - in a move I can only describe as oddly poetic, he launches into a story of his neighbor. The neighbor with the three year old daughter. Who had her in his lap as he drove the tractor this summer.
Do you see where this is going?
Cause I seriously didn't. It happened so fast.
Elwood tells two mothers and four collective children about the three year old who fell out the back window of the tractor cab and was mangled by the machinery "Never to be seen again." At which point he adds this festive gem: "And her aunt, who was working in the emergency room when they brought in the pieces - cause they brought the whole machine with them - yeah, she didn't even recognize that it was her niece she was trying to put back together..."
Now let's rejoin Terrance:
When we left the Rouse-(other last name redacted), they were (scratch that, I was) attempting to secure the B.A.T. to the roof of our car. After being assisted by two farm employees, we finally secured (somewhat) the tree. As we pulled out of the parking lot, I caught a glimpse of the two farm employees shaking their heads in a disapproving manner. I'm sure they were calculating their legal liability.
The first mile of the journey back home was trouble free. This gave me confidence that I could take the highway without fear. However, my confidence was about to be challenged. As we pulled onto the entrance ramp of the highway-Emily announce, "Daddy, I can't see the tree anymore." What! I rolled down the window to discover that the tree had shifted. While still secured, the tree had slid from the left to the right-side of the car. This was going to be a long 30km's.
I would like to say without reservation-that Montreal is a wonderful city with a wealth of natural beauty. However, ask anyone what they dislike about the city and you will hear, the roads and the drivers. Montrealer's are notoriously bad drivers. Courtesies in the forms of signaling before turning and allowing someone to merge into traffic are rarely given. Quebecer's view driving as a competitive sport. They routinely weave in/out of lanes, tailgate, run lights at 100 mph, while simultaneously smoking, drinking coffee, talking on their cell phone, flipping you the bird and cussing you out in French. Ahh yes, these are the only driver's in the world that make you long for the good old days of driving in Boston. Driving on a Montreal highway at 40 mph with your flashers on give you the feeling of being a three legged dog trying to run across a six lane highway! You might as well paint a target on your trunk and put a sign in your rear window that reads, " Hey, I from the U.S., your country sucks, that's not really French your speaking, Poutine taste like Ass!
By the grace of Xmas-we made it home. This is when the real fun began. Once we got the tree off the car -we decided to drag it into the backyard and allow everyone to eat and rest. Oh, by everyone, I mean me. Upon returning from dinner, it was decided ( again, not by me) that the tree needed to be brought inside and put up. For reference sake, our ceiling is about 15ft high, the stick next to the tree in picture 1 is 15ft high. I'm looking at this tree- it's not going to make it into the living room. After knocking everything over from the back porch to the living room- we finally try to put the tree up. Just as I thought, when we try to stand the tree-it scratches up the ceiling. I take two feet off the top, place the tree in my fancy self-watering, self-centering stand and we get the tree up. We step back to gaze upon our accomplishment and take a collective sigh of relief.
The saga is over. Not! On Sunday, I'm finally able to put the entire tree episode out of my mind. There's something to be said about the peace and serenity that comes with having a pollen infested, asthma inducing, fire hazard in your house. My peace is soon broken as Emily walks into the living room and request that we trim the tree without mommy. What, "Honey, why would we want to do that?" The crying starts. "Mommy put the decorations up outside without me. I'm going to be in school all week and won't have time to decorate the tree." I explain to Emily that we can't decorate the tree without her mother-and unless she was now attending a boarding school-she would have plenty of time to decorate the damn tree. A few moments pass and I hear Emily crying again and Dawn ordering her to her room. What the hell is it now! It appears that Em' had tried to convince her mother to decorate the tree immediately, for fear that her mother and I are so lazy that somehow it wouldn't get done. I yell into the next room, "I just want to watch the game and eat my pizza in peace, is that to much to ask?" Emily starts to cry louder as she stomps away into her room, Dawn closes our bedroom door, and I head for the kitchen to consume whatever has alcohol in it. I yell at both of them, I drink because of you two!
Terrance has failed to mention the six hours of handmade garland twisting I endured. Because plastic garland is for pussies.