On Sunday, after our second Thanksgiving feast at my in-laws' house on Saturday, I noticed a little greenhouse on the way to church.
I told Pete about it, and late in the afternoon, he declared, "Let's go get our tree!"
We drove the mile or so to the greenhouse.
It's a little place. Just a few trees out front, and a few tables inside lined with homemade wreaths. The man watching the shop that afternoon, who was not Walt Davidheiser but apparently another long-time local, showed us the machine where evergreen branches are twisted around wire forms into thick, bushy wreaths.
He also showed us every tree.
It didn't take us long to pick one we liked most. It's a douglas fir, with nice soft needles. We also chose a wreath with a pretty blood-red ribbon.
The shopkeeper asked if we'd like to take his truck to drive the tree home. It was a moment out of Norman Rockwell. Or Smallville. The friendly old tree seller, so steeped in his trade he smells of pine needles, offering the use of his beat-up old baby blue Chevy pickup truck to two youngsters, new in town, as they prepare to take home their first live Christmas tree. It was perfect.
I worried the tree, standing not much more than 6 feet high, would look tiny in our high-ceiling'd drawing room. But after Pete cut off the lower branches and we wrestled it into its stand, it stood proud and tall in the corner like it was grown for that very purpose.
Christmas is settling in nicely at Euroclydon.