Well, our marriage has once again survived the annual quest for the biggest Christmas tree in Knoxville.
After deciding the specimens at Suzi’s Groovy Garden are too small or not “just right,” we drive up Kingston Pike to a lot near Stir Fry Cafe. There it is. Standing ever green in a shaft of light, waiting for us. We walk straight to it and stake our claim. After the guys at the lot struggle mightily to get it to my truck, trim the trunk and then load it, Lara and I cart it home.
“I hope it doesn’t come out,” she says.
“It won’t,” I say, Grinchly arrogant. “I’ve strapped that sucker down in a major way.”
Fifteen miles later, when we pull into the driveway, the tree is still there. Christmas Miracle No. 1.
Now it’s time for Spiney and I to wrestle this 14-foot green behemoth out of the truck, into the house and then plant it in a stand.
This is where I tend to go GrinchBob.
And Lara is afraid. Very afraid. She doesn’t want a repeat of last year, when there was plenty of hollering and shouting and one wayward spaniel got trapped beneath the tree as it was dragged across the floor. It was several hours before Crystal forgave me for that ….
But after several years of this, we have a method. This time, I use every microgram of patience I have (yes, it is measured in micrograms with me; patience is not my strength) to wait for Lara to go into the house, move furniture, corral the critters and prepare for the tree’s majestic entry.
Now we’re ready. We roll it up and over the side of the truck. Then I start dragging it by the trunk, toward the door. At this point, it’s a momentum game. Just keep dragging until it’s in the living room.
Next, we have to get the thing upright and in the stand. That’s the real challenge. But after a bit of scheming and my final concession that yes, maybe Lara is right and we need to cut off more lower branches, we get the tree hoisted and in its proper place.
No divorce lawyers. No psychologically scarred spaniels. No GrinchBob. Christmas Miracle No. 2.
Don’t forget, our tree decorating party is Saturday. Here’s the invite.