Grandpa always wore faded old blue jeans, a long sleeved shirt, and a straw hat, but this icy, cold December day he added a big heavy coat, and gloves. “We’re going to cut down a Christmas tree, get bundled up!” he said, as he went out the door, and a gush of frigid Southern Indiana air filled grandma’s kitchen.
Left with the task of readying me for this brave trek through a dense forrest of trees and snow grandma encased me in enough clothes, that I could have probably braved the frigid weather of Antartica. Several layers of t-shirts, long johns (thermal underwear) and of course enough socks to increase my shoe size at least two sizes!
Grandpa rushed back in the door and help me walk to his old pick up truck. My breath hung in the air like smoke from a fire, as I hopped in the old Chevy.
Now my memories of our “Forrest”, pales now as I am a middle aged adult and see the reality of my world. Our farm, roughly 100 acres, doesn’t have a forrest, but a couple of woods, but I guess to a five year old child it did seem like Sherwood. In 1967 the world was a different place, as was our farm.
Grandpa and I chugged along in the old truck, back the bumpy lane to the wooded area where we would find the most perfect Chrtistmas tree ever! You know when you find the perfect tree, because the clouds in the sky part, a golden light from heaven shines down, and angels sing the hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah!
Grandpa took my hand and helped me hop down out of the old truck, and we made our way thru almost knee high snow drifts, to an old grown up fence row, filled with Christmas trees!!!!! Well, they weren’t the kind you would go to the lot to buy, they were cedar trees, but to a small girl, it was a smorgasbord of Christmas trees!
Grandpa helped me pick out the perfect tree (with the help of a few angels singing) and he carefully cut it down and drug it to the truck.
I could barely control my excitement, as me made our way back to the big white farm house to decorate this tree of all trees! Grandma had seen us coming down the lane, and had warm milk on the stove to make hot chocolate for me, as I burst into the kitchen, with snow all over me.
Off came all the layers of clothes, and I was perched on a small stool over the furnace grate in the floor. A big warm blanket was heaved over me from the waist down, and a steaming cup of hot chocolate thrust in my tiny hands.
Grandpa began getting the tree ready to decorate, putting it in the old tree stand, filling it with water, trying his best to get it straight, and the best side in the front. Strands and strands of colored lights and bubble lights were added to the magnificant specimen, and grandma began to carry in boxes of ornaments for me to add to our masterpiece.
It didn’t take long to add all the sparkle and glam to the little tree, and soon the entire house smelled of cedar. I began to get sleepy, and lay down on the couch under my blanket as grandpa plugged in the lights.
I drifted off to sleep while watching the bubble lights move their magical liquid slowly up and down, and dreams of Santa Claus, angels, and baby Jesus filled my head.