Saturday, November 24, 2012

Culture Shock

As most of the folks reading this blog likely know, I used to be pretty nomadic.  Not just a little nomadic, like, "Oh yeah, I'm out of town a lot for work."  I mean full-tilt, no-permanent-address, live-on-the-road.  All of my belongings fit in my car, along with me and my dog.  Like I said- nomadic.

That was a couple of years ago.  I've lived in the same state for about two and a half years now, in houses that have gotten a bit larger with each move.  I've acquired all sorts of the usual crap like furniture, project supplies, and a ridiculous 3' thrift store fake Christmas tree.

When friends invited my husband and me up to their mountain cabin to hang out, drink hot chocolate, and cut down a tree* for Christmas, I debated whether or not we really needed to participate in the tree-cutting festivities.  I mean, of course we didn't.  We already have a perfectly good fake tree, which I expect to celebrate many more holidays with.  On the other hand, heading up into the mountains to select and cut our very own tree was just too dang cute of an opportunity to pass up.

So we did.  We extensively debated which tree was the one for us.  Husband had apparently misinterpreted my insistence during the ride up that we were going to get "such a good tree" to mean "a tree that looked nice by most peoples' standards," which caused some confusion.  I, of course, had meant "the most ridiculous tree in the forest."  But eventually we found it.  A tree which, spied from the angle at which we first saw it, looked very full.  Upon getting closer, it became clear that the tree was indeed full, but only on one side.  The 180 degrees of the trunk that we had not been facing was utterly without branches.  PERFECT.

We hacked it down, carried it back to the car, and strapped it to the roof.  A tree stand was acquired on the way home, and we promptly set it up in the living room.  It's wedged in a corner, which kind of helps with maintaining the illusion that the tree isn't half bald.  Kind of.

But of course, I can't just cast my beloved thrift store tree to the side.  Oh no, it too shall have its seasonal chance to shine.  While our scraggle-chic real tree is in the living room upstairs, my beloved thrift store tree will be set up in the social area of our basement.

And this, dear readers, is how I went from being able to pack all of my belongings into a tiny two-door car to being the schmuck with a Christmas tree for each floor of the house.

*For the hippies gasping in horror- their cabin is on a tract of land that hasn't seen a wildfire in over a hundred years.  At this point, my friends are fairly attached to it and would prefer not to see it burn to the ground.  However, the lack of fires has caused the undergrowth to become fairly thick.  This creates fuel for future fires.  The more fuel, the hotter the fire will burn.  The hotter a fire burns, the fewer older trees and seeds that will survive.  A consequence of a tract of forest not burning on its regular cycle is that the next fire the passes through will be exceptionally destructive to the existing trees, as well as the seed bank from which new trees would usually grow.  The best means of preventing seriously destructive fires is to manage undergrowth and selectively remove some of the younger trees.


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  2. Smart Cookie.

    Best wishes from Click Hamilton
    San Diego