The Christmas Tree Finding Trek

       The sky across the valley was layered in reds and grays. The twin peaks and the outlines of the hills melted into the sky. On most days the silhouette of the peaks is etched against a blue California sky.  Red in the morning, sailor’s warning, my dad used say. Just maybe there would be a little rain to make the leaves of my avocado trees shiny and happy.  How many times when I was a little girl in Iowa did my dad look at the sky and expect snow?

            It’s almost Christmas. The snow is falling in massive amounts across n many places. When I watch the news and I talk to my relatives in Iowa, I remember. Angels in the snow. Snowball fights. Finding the perfect hill to try my new sled. And there was the special four-runner sled that my uncle made. Ice-skating on the frozen flooded baseball diamond. Or just a walk in the snow to hear the squeaky sound of the white mantle under foot and to watch your breath make pictures in the cold air.

            Then there was the trek for the perfect Christmas tree. There were no Christmas tree lots where I grew up. There was only the great God lot, the hills and slopes of the surrounding area. Can’t help but notice as I re-live the annual  tree-finding adventures of my childhood that my tree must doesn’t smell like the fragrance of the conifer we so proudly proclaimed as our Christmas tree. My tree is beautiful; someone just forgot to give it the fragrance of pine or cedar.

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