Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Two Good Things and Too Bad

    Good Thing #1. It's not really a Christmas post already, although if it were, it wouldn't be the first I've seen this season.  This is a little story that wraps itself around me like a homemade afghan on a chilly fall evening.  Last year we returned to Don Tapio's Christmas Valley Tree Farm to cut our own tree again.  Katy really, really likes real trees for Christmas and I understand her.  I used to feel the same way. 
      As usual, we spent a few minutes catching up with our tree farmer, listening to news about his 90+ year-old mother, and how life was treating them after a series of very misfortunate events. (I might share some more about that at a more appropriate time.  It's not such a warm story.) 
     Then we headed out to find that little made-just-for-us Christmas tree we knew would be waiting for us.  I had visions of sweet symmetry, with enough space between the branches to show off some red and golden glass ornaments.  I don't know what Katy was looking for.  We know we have our own ideas and we know that however different they may seem, we always agree on  just the right tree when we see it.  Usually, it takes a bit of discussion and circling the tree and pulling up a bottom branch or two and asking each other, "Whadd'ya think?"
     We poked around, traipsed around, chased Desmond around and found a few "almosts," trees that other years would have made the grade, but something just kept spurring us on, in a subtle, nudging way. 
     And then...there it was like a beacon one second and then just a tree the next second, but never only just a tree for very long.  The three of us stopped mutely at the same moment and decided this was our tree.  It had drawn us in.  There was a whole forest left that we hadn't even seen yet, but why would you keep running after the ball if you've already caught it?  We didn't even need to discuss it. We just really liked it.
   Katy cut it down, with oh-so-much help from Desmond and direction from me, and we started back up the path with it.  Don looked up and rather than wait for us to come to the bailing machine as in years past, he hurried down the gravel to meet us.  He was exuberant and told us we had artistic hearts for choosing that tree...the kind of artistic hearts that reached out, artistically, to other things about life, as well.
     He had only a handful of that particular tree on his farm, and most people don't choose it, but to him, it's the prettiest tree he grows!  (And just so you know, I've already told this story to someone who said, "I'll bet he says that to everyone," so no need to go there.  I just know it ain't so.  There was no need to flatter us and I might have thought he was just saying stuff to make us feel good, if it weren't for the fact that I knew that tree was all he said it was.)
     It was a corkbark fir, with silver-white blue and green needles that picked up and played with the lights we put on it later.  You can tell from the picture that it is indeed a lovely tree, but I know you can't really see what made it all that special, unless you can see into our four hearts just by looking at the pictures.

Don Tapio, Christmas Tree Farmer

Good Thing #2.  Katy doesn't live with me any longer, (that's not necessarily the good part) and she and Desmond live with Jesse who already has two cats. (That they are a family--married this summer--now is good for them all.)  Desmond likes cats, whether they always like him or not.  They've been together in that house with those two cats now for less than a year, and just the other day Katy told me this story:
     "I just adopted a cat!!!  And I looooooove my new baby!!  We went to the Utah State Fair Park to the 'no-kill' Utah adoption thing.  Went straight to him and knew immediately he was mine.  They said I was the first person this whole time to really notice him.  Desmond has told him he is his best friend.  He never said that to the other cats!  Desmond is so happy about it...Gosh I love him.  He was so mellow and scared at the fair that no one was really paying attention to him.  But he was just sitting, taking everything in being so incredibly calm.  He's special.  The lady there started almost getting choked up that someone really saw him."
     I told her, "kind of like our Christmas tree."
     And she said, "exactly.  You gotta just be led."

 Hmmm, I wonder...what would you just have to call a handle-bar mustachioed cat with gem-green eyes?

Bonjour! Rencontrer Hercule Peridot:

Enfin, TOO BAD they don't make this candy bar anymore.  If they did, I would call it good thing #3.


Gorges Smythe said...

Good story, you folks are artists at heart; you just don't know it.

Penny said...

Thanks Gorges! I know I like pretty stuff and cute animals, at least!

Catherine said...

Penny, this is completely off subject, but I saw your email address, and need to ask...Burleigh?

Penny said...

Catherine, not that I know of. Not even really sure to what kind of Burleigh you're referring. I was pretty surprised when I chose the email address that someone already had that name and I had to add the #1 to it!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

May we display your header here on our new site directory. As it is now, the site title (linked back to your home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at SiteHoundSniffs.com.

Penny said...

Sure! Thanks. A new site directory!! I'm intrigued. I'll be there in a minute, Jerry.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Thank you so very much for giving permission. Aside from the All category and the slideshow on the home page, you can see your header under Daily Life, Travel and the United States.