Christmas Tree Hunt

On the second day in Rochester, Grammy said to us, “let’s go cut down a Christmas tree.”

Kunz's Christmas Tree Farm.
Kunz’s Christmas Tree Farm.

We awoke to a cold and blustery morning, but no snow, much to Davey’s dismay.   By mid morning, we trekked through Kunz’s Christmas Tree Farm near Penfield, NY in search of a tree for Grammy’s house.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually sought out a live Christmas tree and on a farm no less.   Live trees are cumbersome, they’re messy, they require regular maintenance, and you’re cleaning up their needles for the next year, but they’re also fresh, aromatic, and even romantic.

Row upon row of uncut trees.
Row upon row of uncut trees.

The last time I had a live Christmas tree, I was in Charleston, SC in 2001.  The last time I hiked through the woods of a tree farm, my brother was five years old, I was 11, and my mother was miserable.   29 years later, and I’m searching for a tree.

The boys perusing the pre cut trees.
The boys perusing the pre cut trees.

What did we want?   We listened to the owner discuss when he’d planted trees, how many he’d already cut, the fact that we were early or perhaps he was late, and which tree would be best to meet the criteria we had.   There was blue spruce, douglas fir, fraser fir, pine, and a few others.   We were given a cart and a hack saw, we were definitely getting back to the adventure and reality of getting a Christmas tree.

Henry helping Daddy and Grammy.
Henry helping Daddy and Grammy.

My husband led the group, my father-in-law complained about the fact that my mother-in-law had two perfectly good fake trees in storage, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law chaperoned the boys who were nearly bundled up beyond recognition.

Davey helping Daddy with bring the tree around.
Davey helping Daddy with bring the tree around.

We walked a few hundred yards, inhaling the crisp western NY cold air.   Mother Nature was definitely playing her role in the whole “Doser Family Searches for Tree” scene.

Henry off for the hunt.
Henry off for the hunt.

There was every tree imaginable…full ones; short ones; tall ones; fat, tubby ones; and even ones that resembled the pitiful tree from a Charlie Brown Christmas.   After very little debate we landed on a tree.  What kind?  I couldn’t possibly tell you and I was quickly losing faith in the young lad who attempted to tell us.   He looked over the tree, stroked its needles with his gloved hand, before taking off his glove and rubbing the needles.   He closed his eyes for a moment, as if willing the tree to speak to him through osmosis of the needles.   I chuckled and had to walk away, no offense to any of you “tree whisperers” out there.

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My husband gallantly and a bit exhaustingly, I might add, cut down the tree, loaded it onto the cart, and trucked it off.   The entire event took a mere 30 minutes of our time, but was truly an enjoyable experience.   Davey created a song to the tune of “Going on a Bear Hunt”, while Henry did his best to keep up on the walk.

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Day two of Thanksgiving in Rochester is in the history books.   Day two of the excitement and adventure that surrounds the worlds of Grammy and Aunt Dee Dee.   Day two of my boys truly being the most well behaved little angels I never thought I had.  🙂

 

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Being Thankful

As many of you are aware, South Carolina midlands and coastal areas experienced flooding unlike anything that’s ever been seen in our state.   The Upstate, where I live with my family, was originally predicted to see more flooding than what it received.  Fortunately for us, but not so fortunate for the rest of the state, we dodged a bullet.

For days our television has been inundated with images of flood waters, cars submerged, people attempting to drive through the floods, rescuers saving people by boat and air, and total devastation of major roadways.   While we don’t let our boys watch much along the lines of normal television (they get PBS and kids movies), it’s been near impossible for us to keep them away from the news, and truthfully I haven’t wanted to hide it.   I’ve actually encouraged it.

This morning, I sat Davey down alongside me as we watched news reports of the devastation.   I suppose I expected him to ask more questions, but mostly he just thought it was “cool”.   I suppose that’s the normal response for a four year old, and I don’t fault him too much for it.  He’s a kid, but he’s also a fortunate kid, one who is blessed beyond measure.

I should have just let it go.  I should have allowed him to just say, “that’s cool, mom.” but I didn’t.   I wanted him to see what was going on in our state, in some places less than an hour away.   I wanted him to know that there are people who are suffering.  I wanted him to know that there are people who’ve lost everything.   I wanted him to be thankful for what he had.   I guess that’s asking a little too much, but I didn’t just let it go.  I took the opportunity, as heart breaking as it is, to teach my son.

We talked about the weather and how the flood waters came about.   He asked if it was like with Noah, and I said “no”, although some people may have felt differently.   We talked about how it’s our responsibility not just as Christians, but as South Carolinians, to help our neighbors.   I encouraged him to look around and tell me what he should be thankful for.  He said his toys, naturally, but then I implored him to look further.   I asked him if he’s blessed to have a house.  His response, doesn’t everyone have a house?   No, sweetheart, everyone does NOT have a house.   I told him we have food, and once again he was confused, because doesn’t everyone have food?

I’m not ashamed of what we have.   I don’t feel guilty for our blessings, I’m thankful for them.   I’m grateful that the Lord has provided for us, but now it’s our turn to help provide for others.   So, I told Davey that we were going to do a donation drive in our neighborhood.   He didn’t understand, so once again I got down to the level of a four year old and explained that we’re going to collect bottled water, diapers, formula, and individually packaged snacks for the Red Cross.

We posted our donation drive on our neighborhood Facebook page and what a blessing to already have neighbors respond, less than six hours after we posted it.   When our first donation came in, the excitement in Davey’s eyes was wonderfully magical.  He’s genuinely excited to help and while he may not understand completely the ramifications of this horrible storm, he knows he, like so many of us, plays a crucial role in helping our state to rebuild.

If you’re interested in helping out those hit by the floods in South Carolina, then please visit the Red Cross and make a donation.   If you’re interested in contributing to our neighborhood donation drive, then contact me.

We are all God’s children and we all have a responsibility to come to the aid of our neighbors.   Be thankful for what you have in life and give to those who may have lost it all.

We are #scstrong.