Two nights ago as I braved the icy 19 degree weather to take my three Border Collies out for their 1 AM constitutional, I noticed how beautiful the 15 foot Easter Red Cedar tree in the south meadow looked bathed in the silver glow from a very bright and round December moon. I wish I had been able to take a picture of the tree at that moment, but I had my hands full of Border Collies and after I took them back inside, it was too cozy in front of the wood stove to go back out.
The next day I asked my sister, who is my next-door neighbor, to go with me to check out the possibility of using the tree as my Christmas tree. Our mother has always told us of her fond memories of cedar Christmas trees in the Arkansas Ozarks of the 1930's. We have had our own cedar Christmas trees during the ten years we have lived here, but they have been small table topper trees. This beauty promises to fill a large corner of the living room and leave just enough space at the ceiling for the tree topper ornament, which is yet to be chosen, with plenty of cedar boughs left over to trim the entire house.
We hopped into my old beat up farm pickup and drove down into the meadow to check it out. The closer we came to the tree the bigger it became. It is at LEAST 15 feet tall - I am really inept at judging measurements - and is growing snugged up against a five-strand fence that is securing my Irish Dexter bull. After closer inspection, I noticed that there are two 0r three smaller trees of some kind - hard to tell without leaves for identification - that must be removed before we can get to the cedar tree. The most worrisome problem will be if the tree catches any of the fence wires on it's way to the ground. Thank goodness my brother-in-law is pretty skilled with a chainsaw. We agreed to meet at sunrise for the cutting ceremony.
At 5 AM, my usual rising time, I baked Gingerbread Muffins and made Lemon Zinger tea for our apres-cutting celebration. Just before daybreak I went out to check the weather. Hooray! 48 degrees ---- and winds of 50 miles per hour?? That tree was swinging so fast and so far there was no way we could ever cut it cleanly or safely. If we could even get it cut, Dorothy and Toto would be using it as their Christmas tree because we would never be able to chase it down on it's trip north.
I disappointedly called my sister to cancel our outing and rescheduled for tomorrow when the temperature is predicted to be near 69 degrees! with winds at ----40 miles per hour?? We have freezing rain and snow forecast for the following three days, and the three days after that the family begin arriving from around the world (literally). Looks like that 15 foot tree will be 20 feet tall next Christmas. I consoled myself with Gingerbread Muffins and Lemon Zinger tea.