I know I haven't written in a while what with being busy with work and that whole Christmas thing, but this blog about a bog should make up for it.
This past weekend the family trudged out on the annual ritual of picking out the family Christmas tree. Taking our cue from my husband's family (my family never had a tree, we only celebrated the material aspects of the holiday), with the exception of the three years when we lived in England, we have always had a real Christmas tree and ever since having kids, have always cut our own. So, seeing as Thing 1 is 12 and Thing 2 is 10, you would think that we would have gotten this little exercise perfected by now. Not so.
Instead, once again, we have managed to pick out the most "Charlie Brown" of all Christmas trees available in the fields where we hiked around looking for the elusive (or in fact, nonexistent) perfect Christmas tree. Okay, I admit it, this time I am to blame because I picked out the tree we actually cut and took home. In my defense, I did offer a few disclaimers: 1. "You won't see that bald spot because it will be against the wall when we get it home." 2. "It doesn't matter what it looks like, because it is going to look cockamamie when we get it home like every other year." I think the group finally decided to go for the tree I picked for the same reason I picked it-to get the heck out of Dodge and get home, decorate the tree and check that task off of the list.
As soon as my husband had cut down the tree I started heading back the way we had come. He stopped us and insisted that if we only went to the left and across what looked like a frozen marshy field, we would be shaving lots of time off of the return trip. I wish I had an aerial map to paste here so I could show you how big this place was. Suffice it to say, not big. But, in our desire to get the heck out of Dodge, we followed along blindly. An appropriate analogy really, since only a blind person should have willingly gone into a SEMI-frozen marsh bog to cut a few hundred feet from their return trip to the car. Only a blind person would carry on through the bog, jumping from hillock (is that a word? this is what he kept shouting to spur us on, or lead us to our deaths of cold) to hillock. Once we were 4/5ths our way through this bog without actually having gotten our feet wet, all logic went out the window when the hillocks dissappeared and all we were left with were little patched of hay shooting up through the icy mess. Logically we should have retraced our steps and taken the longer and safer way back. Once again the desire to get the heck out of Dodge trumped all rational thinking. We trudged on and within seconds, Thing 2 and I were ankle deep in icy water. Thing 2 shouting he was going to die, Thing 1 screaming because though her feet were not yet wet, she never misses an opportunity to add an air of drama to a situation and I was shouting something about "don't tell me I am not a good example going over that log..."
You see, this wasn't the family's first forray into potentially icy water that day. As we were trudging between fields earlier, I decided to take a short cut back to the first field. When I climbed a steep hill, I saw that in actuality there was a semi-frozen stream between the two fields making it impossible to get from Point A to Point B, unless one crossed over the long fallen tree traversing the semi-frozen water. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to show off my core strength honed at the gym 4-5 days a week, I eagerly ran down to the log and said I will do it! Hubby started shouting that I was crazy and not a good example, etc. I of course ignored him and beat the kids, who claimed they wanted to do it first, to the log.
Naturally, as soon as I got far enough across the log to make turning back just about as precarious as going forward, I became scared out of my mind and realized the foolishness of my ways. Not wanting to show this to the kids (except the part when I told them all to shut up and stop yelling at me), I decided to run across the log and get it over with. Miraculously, I made it across with just a bit of muddy water on one shoe from where I jumped onto the bank where the bank was pretty boggy. I then had the task of convincing Thing 2 that mine was a foolhardy stunt, not to be repeated.
As I mentioned, that was earlier in the Christmas Tree hunt. Later as Thing 2 and I waited in the car, our feet stripped bare and the heat on full blast. I noticed a funny thing. From my vantage point in the car, it seemed to me that if we had just come back the way we had originally came in when we found "the tree," it sure looked a lot shorter, and drier than the route Hubby took us on.
In keeping with my prediction, once we got the tree home, we realized that it was dwarf like and contrary to my assertions, the bald spot was so big that it could be seen from three quarters of the room, despite it being turned towards the wall. On top of that, it, like every year, this tree mysteriously fell over the next day (they tried to pin it on the dog, but there are no witnesses), breaking 85% of the breakable ornaments, spilling water all over everything and creating a blanket of pine needles all over the floor which I had just finished vacuuming.
An artificial tree is becoming more and more appealing with every passing year. http://fortyfide.blogspot.com
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