the story of the blinkin’ trees


in october, i spied the most wonderful set of christmas trees. not out in the woods or at a christmas tree stand; i found them  in CostCo. they were perfect. i knew i needed them to make my holiday more fun and brighter. they were three different sizes, starting at six foot then stepping down to five and then, the baby tree was four feet tall. they were in the christmas decoration section along with the halloween items that were scattered about. they were up high on display with life-size oreo-mouthed carolors, a neon santa and his sleigh, and the universal blinking white-light-lit skeleton reindeer. the trees stood tall in their white natural-like hooped branches , their bulbous lights nestled in the branches on each different sized hoop. the white plastic star at the top started the progression of small to large rings of white branches and mesmerizing ping-pong ball lights. then there was the music. it wafted through the store, the joyous sounds of christmas with the robust sounds of electronic music all syncronized with the lights. it was a sight for sore eyes and ears. i wanted them; and i wanted them now.

 i hurried through the store looking for my husband.  what news i had for him. he loved the blinking skeleton snowman i bought a few years ago, although when he put him  up this year i noticed something was different about him. his nose was gone. with some encouragement from me and understanding that our granddaughter wouldn’t understand how a snowman could exist if he didn’t have his carrot nose, the nose was found in the bottom of a box. i knew he’d love these trees. i found him and dragged him to the display. “aren’t they great?” i think i was gushing. he looked up at them and looked down at me. “no.” “what? you don’t like them? i can’t believe you don’t like these trees.” he looked at the trees once more. “i think they’re tacky.” “tacky? you think my trees are tacky? i can’t believe you don’t like them. we could put them out in the backyard so all the neighbors could enjoy them. they play music, for cripes sake. they’d look great out in the backyard” he thought about it for a minute. maybe even half a minute. “nope. don’t like them.” then he left me. left me standing, staring sadly at my trees that would never actually be my trees.

fast forward to the beginning of december. vacationing in gatlinburg with family and friends. on the way home we stopped at a christmas store and meandered around looking at all the things we didn’t need. i was with our granddaughter when i saw terry fiddling around with a contraption the i’m sure chevy chase used on the griswald house. it syncronized all the lights on your home to music. the pulsed, ran, strobed and chased each other. it was huge and green. his smile was one to rival the Cheshire Cat who ate Tweety Bird. i approached him, tilted my head and watched him. “this is what we should get!” he was pushing buttons, lifting lids and inspecting the contraption. “this is just what we need,” he said. “are you kidding me?” “no, this would be great. think of what i could do…” “no way. you wouldn’t let me get my trees and you are NOT getting that green box and making our house look like the one in that Chevy Chase movie.” “but…” “forget it.”

i don’t usually put my foot down very often. but, this…this…this was just not right.

it was time to start decorating before the weather got too cold. ter does the outside and i do the inside. he was wrangling the lights and snowman while i emptied boxes he’d brought from the attic. he came inside after a few hours. “c’mere. i want to show you something.” i went outside and in the back of my jeep were my trees. “are these the right ones?” “my trees!” “i guess they’re the right ones.”

putting them together wasn’t easy and i was sure they were going to end up right back in the box with their remote that had to be retooled by ter for it to work. i think he actually enjoyed all the engineering involved in getting them set up. now, where to put them? 

“i thought we were putting them in the backyard?” said me.

“i think they should be in the front,” said he.

“but, in the backyard we could see them out the back windows,” me said.

“i think they should be in the front,” he said.

so, in the front they are. in front of my office window so i can see them as i type and others can see them as they drive or walk by our house. i’m not allowed to play the music unless nobody is home but i do get to see my blinkin’ trees blink, wink, pulse, run, strobe… 


holiday gridlock

three days after thanksgiving, my daughter and i headed to the pigeon forge/gatlinburg area for some mother-daughter bonding/shopping/away from home disagreements. we had our timeshare booked for a week but she was going to have to leave after two and a half days so she could get back to work in franklin. so, the plan was for me to ride halfway back to franklin with her on wednesday, meet the hub, jump into his car and ride back with him the same way i’d just come.  after having lots of fun at Dollywood’s Christmas In The Smokies, working on site,  shopping and a tour of Cades Cove it was time for the family switch-a-roo. we packed a lot in those couple of days and we were sorry to have it end so soon, but company was coming in on thursday night and it was going to be more Dollywood, shopping, eating and more shopping.  the christmas spirit had hit the area hard at that point. traffic was terrific and tales were told of black friday where a woman took a parking spot right from under the nose of another female parker-wannabe who decided that this spot-stealer needed to be pulled out of her car and thrown into the bushes. don’t fool around with parkers at an outlet mall on black friday, folks. you could get hurt.

bossman, my hubsand, will be flying out to eastern new york state soon to drive his dad and stepmom to florida. dad hasn’t been well the last few months and is unable to drive, which is like telling him he’s unable to breathe, see or pee standing up. it’s a big change and hopefully a temporary one. the trip should last three days, but they’re figuring on four…five…whatever it takes. daughter and i will drive down with the granddog, spend a few days – one of which will be an early christmas day – and then we’ll head on back to tennessee for our christmas with friends and our honorary granddaughter, Doodle.

traveling during the holidays, for our family, includes planes, cars and suv’s. we’ll pack gifts, christmas cds, treats and maybe i’ll be able to talk daughter into decorating the grill of her Escape. 

one disappointment this year is that our oregon son won’t be joining us this holiday season. grampy’s illness took us by surprise and plans got shifted and people were shuffled around. he’ll be missed. heck, he’s already missed.

holiday gridlock of the heart as well as the roads.