December 20, 2014

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010: The Tree

charliebrowntree

 

 

 

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010: The Tree

While others in the United States might have had a challenge in finding a Christmas tree, forced to buy them from lots, we were very fortunate to live here in Washington State where Douglas firs were very easy to come by.

We lived at the end of Dennis Street in Tumwater, and up until 1965 we had no houses anywhere near us. We were surrounded by a huge acreage that most likely had been a family farm at one time. The fields around us were cleared and I don’t even remember any tree stumps to speak of. Far behind us were some woods and it could have been from those trees, or the large firs to our west, where the seeds for the small Christmas-size trees in the fields were blown into the sandy loess soil waiting for us to harvest one each December.  I like to think of it as the Old Fuzzy Top effect.

Mom always called it “pestering” when my brother Dave and I would begin our annual campaign with the question, “When can we put up the tree?” No doubt, we didn’t really want the tree to go up so much as we wanted it to be there so we could have presents underneath it! Oh sure, we liked decorating our little tree (not quite Charlie Brown-ish, but sometimes small-ish in size) for the most part.

I think we had some commercial ornaments, and we’d always wind a string of lights or two around through the boughs, but we also had some hand crafted by Yates children artisans these aluminum foil decorated milk bottle caps too.  We’d beg Mom and Dad each year to buy a new package of silver tinsel and we had strict instructions to put it on one piece at a time.  As soon as Mom left the room we’d revert to rebellious heathens and toss it on the tree with wild abandon.  Hey, it looked artistic to us.

The tree was positioned in front of the living room window that faced east so that anyone coming up the road would see the lights at night and take notice of our earnest attempt to show our holiday spirit.  Our little tree was saying, “Hey, look at us, we have a tree too!”.

I’m participating in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 sponsored by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame.  Won’t you join us as we blog about our memories through the month of December?

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Tricks and Treats

halloween girl

halloween girl

Road Kill

The trick or treaters have come and gone now, but Randy, at Genea-Musings - Saturday Night Genealogy Fun wants us to relate a story of our most memorable Halloween.

My story goes back about 23 years but takes place here in Port Orchard, WA. Our son was off to a Halloween function and we were going to pick him up. Our route took us through some housing development areas, but they weren’t all well lighted with street lights.

As we rounded a curve on one dimly lit street we were especially looking out for kids darting across the road. I wasn’t anticipating anyone laying in the middle of the road though! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here was this lifeless form in the road though.

My husband quickly pulled over to the side and I think I leaped out before the car was even stopped. So many things go through your mind when you see something like that: Did some kid hit another and just leave him or her and take off? Or was a it a case of hit and run? Maybe a deadly case of peanut allergy poisoning. All I knew was that I had to get to that kid before a car came from the other direction and run over him.

As it turned out, a car did come along  just as I got to the lifeless body. I was trying to determine who was laying there and hoping not to get hit myself. As I bent over the ‘child’ it was readily apparent that it was a dummy and someone had probably just tossed it in the road to be ‘funny’. Not much of a joke, and I was furious that I had a hard time getting that first car to stop!  It turned out to be a non-event, thank goodness.

It told me a lot about myself that night though. Even at my own peril, I would risk my life to save someone if I could.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

If you’d like to participate in this fun, here’s what you can do…

1) Think about your most memorable Hallowe’en – was it when you were a child (candy, games, carnivals), a teenager (tricks and treats), or an adult (perhaps a party)?

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post of mine, or in a comment on Twitter or Facebook in response to this post.

3) Have fun!

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