Well, the weather outside might be frightful…it is yet another winter storm and it isn’t even officially winter yet until December 21st. Yet I am home warm and cozy in my new apartment making use of some much needed time to prepare for the fast approaching holiday. As the snow falls outside it is hard to believe that only a year ago I was eagerly preparing to spend Christmas in Tanzania and exotic island of Zanzibar. What a difference a year makes.
Let’s just say that the Christmas trees that I experienced last year weren’t quite what I am use to
Thanks to the freezing cold (wind chill temperature have been hovering between minus 15 to minus 26 degrees) all week and the snow on the ground it is easy to embrace a traditional Christmas unlike my exotic adventure last year. Earlier this week I made a visit to the Christmas tree lot to pick up the traditional evergreen tree that I had purchased a few weeks ago. There is nothing like the gorgeous smell of a true evergreen tree standing tall adorned with tinkling lights to put you in the mood.
So off I set to bring my tree home. In doing so I was reminded that bringing home the Christmas often is an adventure for me. When I was younger my family would hike back to the woodlot on our farm property, sometimes through deep snow to cut down our own tree. One Christmas while my parents were temporarily living in Goose Bay, Labrador the land of snow and polar bears we hiked through massive snow drifts to chop down a rather scrawny tree only to have a beautiful one blow off the back of a truck at our feet when we returned to the side of ride hauling our Charlie Brown tree. Needless to say we grabbed the beautiful tree stuffed into our car and quickly made our get away.
Just an example of my Christmas tree adventures. This year was certainly no different. In case you had any doubt bringing home a Christmas tree is now small feat and certainly a job for two people. But this independent Miss decided to tackle the feat alone! Where are Buche and Lawrence when I need them?
Actually I had a plan….don’t I always?
I was simply going to bring the tree home and unload it in the heated parking garage of my apartment building. From there I could get the able assistance of the resident property manager to wrestle it to my third floor apartment. The pick up of the tree went with out a hitch except that I didn’t have any cord to tie down my car trunk lid as I drove making my less than 3 km drive the slowest of my life to prevent the tree from flying out of the back of my car unto a poor unsuspecting victim. Luckily the numerous potholes and rounding corners didn’t dislodge my precious cargo and we arrived safe and sound in my underground parking garage.
Like all good ideas, once I executing it I always seem to come up with another one.
As I had to take the tree out of my trunk before I could back into my parking spot, I thought why don’t I try to get the tree up to my apartment without waiting for someone else to do. Yes, I know, a brilliant thought. In my defense, there were accessories to the crime. One of the great things about my building is it comes complete with lots of extras that make your life so much easier including moving dollies and shopping carts for transporting heavy loads from the parking garage to the elevator and into your apartment.
So a brilliant idea was formed when my eye spied a large shopping cart just waiting for a load…..
Just as I was beginning to haul the tree out of my car trunk my neighbors entered the parking garage on their way out. Let me first say how wonderful my neighbors are here. They are warm, welcoming and it seems indulgent of crazy independent women who think that they can tackle anything. And thanks to their able assistance between the three of us soon the seven foot tree was balanced on top of the said shopping cart just waiting for it’s ride.
The next hurdle was navigating the said seven foot tree balanced on a shopping cart through two sets of heavy doors into the very tiny space where the elevator waited. Once again thanks to additional assistance from another set of upstairs neighbors I made it through that hurdle. A third set of helping hands held the elevator door open long enough for me to roll my rather cumbersome load onto the elevator for the trip to the third floor.
Exiting the elevator was a piece a cake and easily executed all by myself
Victory was in sight as home was only a very short distance away down the hall and through one more heavy door into my apartment. Putting my back into it , the tree and I were soon home at last. With an even more cunning plan.
Once we were safely ensconced in the apartment and I had removed my winter coat and boots it was time to stand the tree up. Thinking on my feet I grabbed the tree stand and positioned it on the base of the tree screwing the tree stand to the trunk. When I was sure that the tree stand was not only tightly secured to the base of the trunk but that it was reasonably straight the next challenge was getting the seven foot tree now on a cumbersome tree stand off the shopping cart and upright in my living room.
Ha, you doubt my abilities I am sure! I may only be just over 5 feet tall but I pack the determination of a 6 foot tall person into my body. So with some careful consideration of physics (never one of my best subjects in school) and I was ready to leverage the tree off of the shopping cart and upright. Okay, I will be honest, it took two tries to get the blasted tree off the cart. That sucker was a little heavier than I realized. However, by holding the shopping cart still with one of my feet while simultaneously tipping the end of the cart while also simultaneously tilting the tree into an upright position…this is definitely where an extra pair of hands would have been useful…I defied the odds.
Other than a few branches that didn’t survive the arm wrestle with my determination I had a beautiful Christmas tree stand tall and strong. And the best part was the intoxicating smell of evergreen wafting over me. It is truly one of my favorite scents in the world.
With a few twinkling lights I now have a head start on the Christmas spirit
And yet another adventure under my belt just proving that my adventures didn’t end in Africa :)