Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

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Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Now There's a Tree

When last I posted, you'll recall that I was feeling down about things generally and the holiday specifically. Part of the angst was due to not having a Christmas tree. I wasn't that sad about losing it in the flood last summer since it hadn't been a very high-quality tree in the first place and was starting to shed "needles" almost as fast as the real live kind but I was definitely dreading finding a replacement. So much so that I had been threatening to just have the Nativity scenes as decoration--they all survived the flood and look good on the credenza in the living room.

Over the course of last week both the Ducklings and my own sense of tradition persuaded me to get a tree after all...but I was still dreading the forty-five-minutes-each-way drive to anyplace selling pre-lit artificial trees. (Yes, "rural setting" is the polite term for "in the middle of nodamnedwhere.")

Last Saturday morning I had to get Eldest Duckling to her school by 7:45 in the morning for a sporting event, which didn't thrill me at all but which DID have a payoff...I got my Christmas tree without having to schlep! I figured that since I was driving by anyhow, I might as well check the local Ace Hardware for pre-lit trees. Wasn't that optimistic but thought it was worth a shot. Once inside the store I discovered they did have pre-lit trees--and better still, a multicolored pre-lit tree! (Plain white lights can be pretty and are fine...for someone else's tree.) It was a little on the skinny side but was technically seven-plus feet tall if you counted the ten-inch single spiky branch on top. I was so happy about not having to make a special trip that I was okay with both those things. One of the nice floor people (that Ace is very well-staffed with knowledgeable but not offensive employees--in equal gender distribution, even) asked if he could help me so I said that I wanted one of those [pointing to tree] and he went charging off to the back.

The guy came back with a not-as-happy look on his face and said "that's the only one we've got" while pointing to my tree. I was thinking "oh FUCK now I do have to schlep" just as he added "But I can sell you that one if you want it."

Hell YES I wanted it! He gave me the tag to take to the register and called on his microphone walkie-talkie for "Mike" to come help him carry it to my car. I quickly paid for it and went to open up the SUV hatch...then realized while standing there by the vehicle that I probably could have gotten him to knock about 10% off the price for it having been the floor model. Yeah, well, this ain't my crazy grandparents' house so nobody was gonna bitch that I hadn't thought of the discount and I still had a pre-lit tree for far less than I'd seen them advertised in the high-end junk catalogues (there's an oxymoron for you but I'm sure you know the ones I mean) a couple years back. So I got my tree then had to wait a good ten minutes while they rummaged in their two storage sheds to find the box...but I was still home with my find by 8:16am.

Pre-lit is definitely the way to go. As soon as I found an extension cord, we had A Christmas Tree without my doing anything else. I let the kids (okay, the girls...Middle Duckling wasn't into it) decorate and surprisingly enough we had scads of ornaments since not only did not as many of my own get trashed in the flood as I thought but also we had MIL's and Nona's (my husband's late grandmother for whom I did hospice in 2002) Christmas stuff in our basement, which the Ducklings happily found and hauled to the surface. The tree was SO covered with ornaments, in fact, that there's a whole second tree's worth of ornaments we didn't use.

There's still the mess of empty boxes and crap but at least the tree part of the stupid holiday is done so I'm feeling a lot less pressured. The plan is for this week to be "finish up Christmas" (ie get everything bought and wrapped and shipped if need be) then for next week to be "clean up the house" so that MIL can see how well we live without her input.


Blogger Dharma said...

How lovely for you. I scored us one of those artificial prelit trees off freecylce. Your grandparent would be proud of me - totally free. Love freecycle - don't know if they have out in the middle nodamnedwhere but you never know.

December 20, 2006 8:49 PM  
Blogger SamD said...

Wow, something to google! Never heard of "freecycle" till now...ain't blogging the greatest?

December 21, 2006 9:28 AM  

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