LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting the Tree

We always have a natural Christmas Tree. I think I would be just as happy with a good artificial one, but that would never suit my husband. Throughout our marriage, we have had as large a tree as our house (and wallets) would accommodate. Our favorite tree is the Fraser Fir and we are very lucky that these lovely trees are grown right here in Western North Carolina.

We buy our trees at a tree farm out in the county. The trees are all very good quality, and the mountain view from the hillside is wonderful. Most trees are under nine feet tall, but this farmer has lots of taller trees as well.


We hiked up from the shed at the bottom of the photograph to see all the trees. The larger ones seemed to be higher on the mountain.


The hillside was covered with trees of all sizes and the views were fantastic.


The tree farmer's little Beagle took a liking to me and followed along as we looked at all the trees.



Aha! There it is! The perfect tree! We checked the height with our pole. A little over ten feet. Just right. Now for most people, this would be the end of the tree search. But not for my husband. No matter how perfect this tree might be, it's always possible there is another, even more perfect one waiting for us to find it. So we flagged this tree and kept looking.


After checking out every other tree on the hillside, we came back to the one we first selected. The tree farmer cut it down for us and pulled it behind his tractor down to the shed.
Our tree farmer is also a Baptist preacher. It's not at all uncommon for preachers in the rural areas to have another job. The churches are small, and so is the preacher's salary. I took his picture so you would have the opportunity to see a Jesus baseball cap.


I have no photographs of the rather humorous scene of getting that big tree into the house. Just the two of us. The tree was wrapped securely with netting at the tree farm, but that reduced only the bulk, not the weight. As soon as we opened the door to bring the tree inside, Ellie ran down to get in her crate. Lucy, on the other hand, sniffed and followed us all the way inside. After some rather frightening moments, and some laughter but no shouting, we finally got the tree into the stand and straightened it.

There it sits, straight and tall. Before long, the tree will be covered with white lights and tons of ornaments. It won't shed much at all since it was in the tree stand an hour or so after being cut.
And yes, the Canada Geese and the wheat will be gone, to be replaced by reindeer and holly. The tree looks as perfect as it did outdoors (and that is not always the case) and when you walk into the house you can smell the wonderful evergreen smell.
-----We decorated the tree yesterday. Some of the Christmas Spirit was lost in the expletives yelled at the television during the Green Bay Packer Game. Another game they should not have lost. But when the game was over, we put on Christmas carols and that, along with a little wine, put us back in the spirit of things.
If you celebrate Christmas, I do hope your tree will be the perfect one for you, whether natural or not.

20 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Carolyn, Getting the Fraser Fir brings back memories to me. When I lived in FL in the '70's-'80's---we bought a FF from NC and fell in love with them. After that year, we bought FF's every year. BEAUTIFUL tree --and they smell so good.

NOW--we have a beautiful "FAKE" tree from Lowe's.. It is pretty and has its lights on it. SO--I'm not complaining. BUT--I do LOVE those Fraser Firs!!!!! Congrats. Can't wait to see pictures once you get it decorated.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kallen305 said...

Your tree is lovely!! It looks fantastic where you have it too.

I am getting a real tree this year and can't wait. I miss the smell of pine in my home.

It sounded like a fun way to spend the weekend. Enjoy decorating it with all of your pretty lights and ornaments.

Cheryl said...

I really loved that....what a simply perfect tree....I never manage to get the dream tree, nevermind I can pop over and look at yours.....
I would have loved to see you trying to get it into the house....what fun......

Mary said...

Carolyn, I love it! Your tree reminds me of the one we bought back in 1984 for $80 - and that was a lot of money for us! It stook 12 feet tall and needed to be tied to the second floor banister. What a glorious tree and I just had to have it! But we never did THAT again...

We have an artificial tree but it can't compare to searching on the tree farm.

Glad you had fun!

George said...

Getting your tree sounds like a wonderful adventure. Nothing smells better than a fresh tree. I'm sorry the football game spoiled the Christmas spirit, but I completely understand (I'm a Chicago Cub fan!).

Carrie P. said...

We have always had a Fraser Fir tree. It smells so good. We used to drive up Sparta when the kids were little but now we just drive down the road to a little house that sells them in their front yard. Those were fun times with the kids.

troutbirder said...

Its the smell I miss. And picking it out.... but its every other year it off to Colorado so no tree here this year. Two years ago we went along to pick one cut one down in the Front Range. I envy your chance to go every year up into the mountain to pick out a tree!

Dog_geek said...

Nice! I can't wait to see it decorated! We haven't gotten a tree the past few years, since we haven't been here for Christmas. Before that we got a live tree, which is now planted at the top of the hill. I sometimes am tempted to go up the hill and decorate it, but we'd need one heck of an extension cord for lights.

Toni said...

Wonderful Carolyn. I have not had a real tree since the kids were little.

I told Don we should look at real trees this year. It will all depend on the price in the end.

The Birdlady said...

What a beauty! I enjoyed your tale and hope you enjoy your beautiful tree and your whole Christmas.

Cicero Sings said...

A lovely shaped and formed tree!

Our house is too hot for a tree ... all we have is a little ceramic one my Mom gave me years ago when I lived in a small apartment.

Beth said...

That is a beautiful tree--please show pictures of it in its lighted glory. I tend to find trees in the woods and bring them home--kind of scraggly Charlie Brown christmas trees. I think my husband would like a robust, well shaped tree farm tree, but he doesn't complain.

Jayne said...

I love Fraser Fir trees the best too Carolyn, and am mightily impressed that the two of you lugged that huge tree in and got it upright!! Can't wait to see it all decorated. :c)

Cedar ... said...

That's a lovely tree and you have a great corner for it. I went to artificial tree only two years ago. I just could no longer handle a real tree alone. At least my artificial tree is in three sections. I do so miss the wonderful scent in the air. can't wait to see your tree with all the decorations!

MicheleRF said...

Beautiful tree Carolyn! The Fraser Fir is my favorite as well. This year we went with a Norfolk Island Pine which is more like a plant. If I can keep it alive, which is never a certainty with me, it should last all year in the house. We'll get a bigger tree when our grandson is older:)

Shellmo said...

It sounds like going to get the tree is as much fun as setting it up! Can't wait to see how you decorate it!

Karen said...

That is one lovely tree. Your post reminded me of when my father and I would go in the woods to cut down a cedar tree. One night in particular we were lucky to have a full moon and fresh snow on the ground. It was a magical night.

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: I do miss the smell of a real tree but not the mess and the trouble of putting it up.

Bird Girl said...

What fun to go on a trip with you to get the very best Christmas tree! Looks like your tree farmer is playing on the right team ;-)
So cute that his little beagle took a liking to you - and the tree looks perfect!

flowergardengirl said...

Thank you so much for buying a NC tree. It's just as important to us--me and you--as stopping the coal industries blasting off the mountain tops. Maybe perhaps...the barren land can be used for Fraser Fir growing. It would be healthier and prettier. You can read my article about our tree farms in NC on my blog. I would love for you to. Just look on my sidebar under The Future of Plants. Then you'll never ever talk plastic again. Well, actually, My real tree is on my front porch! Great article and my men are packer fans although they miss Favre.