last year we went to a christmas tree farm that blew ass chunks somewhere downriver. the parking lot was a quagmire, the people were less than chatty and all of the trees were small and emaciated-looking. the kate mosses of christmas trees. kate moss is fine when you want to model underwear, but when you’re shopping for a tree, the fuller, the better. we’re talking kristie alley christmas tree, and not while she was on dancing with the stars either. a tree that is sloppy full of branches, lets it all hang out.
this year, we thought, there has to be a better place. and, there is. but it’s way the hell down in butt f&%k egypt, nearly to the ohio boarder, in a little town by the name of ida.
the place is everything you would dream about in a tree farm, and is that next step above going out into the wilderness (what wilderness?) and cutting down a real tree in a real forest. an idyllic farm setting. down a winding country road. an old dog that follows you around begging for pets, young workers warming themselves by a fire, and acres and acres of nice trees, older trees, like jennifer lopez, a perfect balance between kate moss and kristie alley. just full enough.
as we stepped out of the car, the silence hit us like a heavy wave. city people, you know what i’m talking about. how, after living amongst constant noise, silence seems louder than anything and can be quite startling, actually, like someone coming up behind you and banging some pots together. of course, that was before ruth got out of the car. there is nothing with quite as much crazed energy as a two year old that’s just been for a long car ride. except maybe a greyhound. or someone on crack. the air was clean, i could tell because it felt unnaturally light and scentless as it passed through my nose. the day was bright and the shadows were long.
well, would you believe that this place even had a petting farm? so, of course, ruth made a b line for the dirtiest sheep she could spot and began caressing it’s crusty wool. after stopping to ask where the cheapest trees could be found, and being pointed in the right direction, we headed out onto the farm. we were the only ones around so we took our time, wandered, meandered amongst the trees.
ruth did ok, and, being two, we are able to turn our back on her and trust that she’s following closely behind and not doing anything too crazy. most of the time. although, lately, she’s begun to test her limits, and has begun not following us, just to see what happens. and not coming when we call, just to see what happens (and what usually happens is that we weakly, exasperatedly call her a few times before giving up. yeah, we’re high energy parents, here). she began lagging behind a few steps, then a few yards, then, before we knew it, we looked back and she was way down the line. taking her shoes off, no less.
she is going through some kind of foot fetish phase where she is constantly taking her shoes off and picking at her toes. maybe she’ll grow up to be a podiatrist, i dunno. in any case, off came the shoes, and there she ran right by me as i muttered some words of discontent to her, trying to be the responsible parent. that’s when i got a whiff of poop. and, of course, i had left her change of diaper back in the car. yes, that would be my two year old running through the rows of christmas trees like a child of the corn, the scent of feces trailing behind her. is there a hallmark card for this occasion?
she ran ahead to greg as i resignedly wandered back in search of her shoes. “ruth, put your shoes on before you step on something sharp,” i said as she sped past me, her shoes held out limply in my hands, “greg!” i called. time for backup. greg stopped his tree searching long enough to tackle her and force her shoes back on, seeing that she had, in fact, stepped in something sharp. some of those really sharp burrs, which are still imbedded in her socks.
we did end up finding the perfect cheap ass tree and had a refreshing afternoon in the country. was it worth the drive there and back with our two year old? that is certainly debatable.