It was a good day in Southern Illinois.
Katie and Dane marched with the AJ Marching Band in the Christmas parade downtown this afternoon. Katie can't march and play the bells at the same time, so she got to carry the banner. : )
Kwachie got a pretty new green holiday sweater with embroidered cardinals and snowflakes on it to wear to Ev's company Christmas party tonight ... and ... the Christmas Tree hunt has ended in success!
We found a perfect tree at the Allan Farm on Lick Creek, and the nice Allan boys cut it down for us and drove it back to their house. Sorry, Ann ... I don't know where you do your tree hunting, but we went the "chainsaw and utility vehicle" route and completely avoided mud, handsaws AND losing the top two feet of the tree! : )
Mr. Allan was shaking the dust and debris out of it on his industrial-strength professional tree shaker when we stepped inside the "wreath shop" in their shed to pay for it. We spent $45 for the tree and a huge handmade wreath ("I treated that so it will last way past Christmas, girls! As long as you want it, really.") and when we exited the shed to load up the tree it was already cleaned, bagged in nylon netting and tied to the roof rack, ready to go.
We visited for a few minutes while we petted the Allans' horse and dogs and told them how different Christmas Tree hunting is in Arizona, where it's 80 degrees and all the trees in the tree lots are really the top six feet of trees that have gone to lumber mills and they've been dead on ice for 6 months before they end up in the WalMart parking lot. They promised to put us on their mailing list for next Christmas, and we promised to be back. "Merry Christmas"es were exchanged all around, and as we drove back up their narrow country road I told Ev again, for the thousandth time, how grateful I am to be living here with her and having the life I used to wish I could have while I'm still young enough to enjoy it.
The tree is having a nice long drink outside now, and we're getting ready to head for the Christmas party.