Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Donde está adentro y hacia fuera?

Roughly translated: Where is In & Out? We'll get to that later...

Well, it is officially not summer. It’s not because it’s only 32 degrees or because there’s a projected 2 to 4 inches of snow on the way tonight, but because we killed a tree. It’s a proud time of year when the Thornburg’s and the Rayo’s don layer after layer and head to the nearest (or in this case an hour away) tree farm in order to hunt the elusive Blue Spruce, or even the occasional Canaan Fir.
For those of you not directly in-the-know about tree hunting, it’s very important that you know the difference between the two kinds of trees. The Spruce is a medium-sized evergreen tree that maxes out at 25-30 meters tall, with thin and flaky bark. It has pendulous cones that are slender and cylindrical that turns red to brown after they mature.
The Canaan Fir is a small to medium-size evergreen tree with diamond-encrusted bark and carbon fiber branches. Native to Eastern and Central Canada, the fir bleeds solid Dom Perignon champagne when cut. The needles of the Canaan have a secretion on their stomata that can both cure mesothelioma and fuel Formula 1 race cars. The Canaan’s cones are 4-8cm long and can be used as nuclear warheads. The international market for the cones alone exceeds $35.7 billion annually.
OK, so maybe the Canaan description isn’t entirely true, but this was our first time to the Young’s Dairy Tree Farm and we didn’t know that the Canaan --the tree we slayed in an arduous battle, exhibiting dauntless levels of courage and valor-- was, in fact, $65 with tax, whereas the pines and spruces are relatively cheaper (by cheaper I mean appropriate-cost-for-cutting-down-your-own-tree-in-a-30-degree-drizzle).
Apparently, no matter how quickly you re-duct tape it to its base, it’s still not refundable. I even tried to show him the dirt stain on the base of the tree, but that excuse only works with Nordstrom sweaters.
We were forced to stick with our purchase, but I can’t complain. It’s a handsome tree. It took us about 15 aisles of wandering green to track it down and after passing various Charlie Brown’s and Time’s Squares, we agreed on this beauty:
The sleds were great, too. Even with the lack of snow, it was fun to pull our tree carcass through the muddy grass over to Sarah, Michael and Henry’s fallen timber, then an easy walk over to my Mom and Dad in order to watch them slay their beast. Prior to the cut, the sleds also doubled as excellent baby transport, too. Tenzin was unsure of their stability at first, but soon got his “giggle on” as he surfed in the sled. Unfortunately, per Rachel’s wishes, I didn’t get the opportunity to try out the sled behind my Dad’s F-350. What’s the use of a tow package if you don’t use it, right (for me, not Tenzin)?

We even took advantage of Mike’s reciprocating saw --a tool I still consider to have a tinge of cheatiness, but a definite Godsend to lazy city folk-- and had the trees felled in no-time. On our way back with wood-in-tow, we passed other families just beginning their hunt and I couldn’t help but laugh at the envious glance in Mike’s direction, saturated in admiration at the gratuitous use of man tools. You could see them take a quick glare down at their Amish-like saws with a “Why didn’t I think of that” expression, so I’m going to put money on it that we see over-horse powered chainsaws next year. You know it’s always a competition among gentlemen.

In non-freezing temperature news, we’re eagerly awaiting our flight to California in just two short days. We’ll be lifting off at 0600 hours and landing with a vengeance. Hopefully this time, I won’t get pneumonia. While I enjoyed the comfortable bed the Thomas family provides, I’ve always found sand to be that much softer.

We’ve got the usual agenda: food, drink, family, more food, more drink…oh…and a little thing called my 30th birthday. We’re planning on driving down to Mexico for a few days to celebrate. If anybody has cheap pharmaceutical drugs or designer watch rip-offs on their Christmas list, we’ll be sure to make a stop in Tijuana for you. Until then, wish us luck with the Federales. AAA’s bail program works south of the border, yes?

Only 20 more years till I’m 50. Alas.

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