When I was little, my family went Christmas Tree hunting every year two weeks after Thanksgiving. There were about twenty to twenty-five of us in a caravan of used cars – one shiny, new Cadillac – cruising the backroads to some far away tree farm in Bucks County.
We would all pick our trees after much debate about which one was right (can’t have any bald spots), get them tied to the tops of the cars, and then we’d all go eat at this amazing restaurant right by Peddler’s Village. It was a family tradition since I could remember and it was a tradition that died the same year as my grandmother.
One year, we were at a farm searching for the perfect tree and I spotted something that looked like a clump of hacked up shredded wheat. I poked my face further toward the tree, careful not to get a pine needle in my eyeball and then reached inside. The sappy needles grabbed onto my gloves as the aroma of fresh pine wafted into my nostrils. I finally reached the object and edged it back toward me like it was a rare crystal.
My eyes went wide as my mouth gaped open with joy. It was even better than a rare crystal – it was an abandoned bird nest.
I shouted for my grandmother who came over to see what all the fuss was about.
“Gram! Look what I found. It’s a bird’s nest!”
She gave me a hug and praised me for being so brave to reach into a sappy, stabby pine tree to fetch the beautiful creation left by a beautiful bird. We played ‘guess what kind of bird’ and then determined it to be a robin or maybe a cardinal.
I asked her what I should do with the nest and she told me to bring it with me and so I did. I guarded that thing with my life until we got back to my Gram’s. That nest went in her Christmas tree every year until it fell apart. It must have been at least twenty years.
Real quick: I love fried mushrooms with a nice, juicy steak. Other than that, not really. But every time I hear the word MUSHROOMS, I think of some skit like Cheech and Chong as they said, ‘Shrooms man, f**king shrooms.’ Though after thinking about it, I am pretty sure it was Dennis Leary in a stand-up routine Lock ‘n Load.
The mushrooms in the picture, however, are apparently little homes for little gnome folk! Or maybe Smurfs. I used to watch the Smurfs when I was a kid… I think they came onto the cartoon scene right about the time I was wrapping up with it.
Anyway, how was your week? How much did you accomplish? I am 40,000 words into my NaNoWriMo novel, so I am hoping to be done by this weekend. Of course, it is 40,000 words of pure crap, but it is 40,000 words none the less and at the very least a blueprint in which to work with.
When I was a baby I wanted to make friends with a goose, but the goose wasn’t interested. Despite the honks and hisses, I pursued.
The goose had it up to his neck with me.
I went crying back to my grandmother. She called me a ‘stupid ass’ and told me that’s what I get for trying to play with a goose. This might shock some people, that a grandmother would talk this way to a little person, but that was how it was in 1978. Of course, I didn’t like it then, but I get it now.
Geese are known to be mean which I didn’t know in the 70’s when I used to try to play with geese.
I still like them. I just have more respect for them.