Judy, that's a delightful story about your and your girls' first Christmas without Eric. Y'all have such an inspiring spirit! And, thank you for your words about my glow - yep, those are the hands that guide me for sure!
Your tree story made me recall the first tree my husband and I shared. We were courting; I had my place and he had his. I wanted a tree for my place; he could not have cared less to have one in his place. Money was tight for both of us. We were not looking for a tree at the time we found one, but hey, we saw one and stopped to go check it out. We could have been arrested, not to mention the tree might have been 'protectively sprayed.' Maybe they didn't do that back then...and maybe we're why they started doing it!
You know how they clear trees for the big erector set looking power stantions (I forget what they're called)? They always seem to plant pine trees along side where they put those erector sets. Anyway, I said those pines are beautiful, so he pullled over the car and we go trapsing through the trees. They were all too big for my small place, but I said isn't that one beautiful.
My husband-to-be takes us home, gets a ladder and a saw, takes us back to the trees, and tops the one I thought was so beautiful 'cause topping it would make it fit into my small place.
How terrible of us to do that to a tree! We decapitated it!
Somewhere along a roadside in Virginia there probably grows a short, but stocky pine tree. Not having the money to spend on decorations, I collected pine cones, holly berries, and such to decorate the tree. I never discarded the pine cones which decorated that tree and use them to this day to fill decorative baskets tied with bows (room color coordinated, of course!
) and randomly place them around the house. They still have the brown sewing thread used for hanging them from that first tree with my husband-to-be.