Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Perfect Christmas Tree

An old schoolhouse that sits on the property.

Can you find that perfect tree?

We had just enough time before the Bears game to jump in the truck and head over to McNabb, Illinois and cut down our tree again this year. It would only be the two of us this year. Sadie, our dog, was not even coming along for the ride. Gone are the days when we packed up both boys and headed to whatever tree farm we could find. We liked to try them all and the farther away the the better. Snissippi Forest was our favorite. We still have old video of the the last time we went with Matt and Nate. Bing Crosby is singing in the background as we film the dirt road that leads to the spot where you can find your tree. The forest is located in Oregon, Illinois and once you entered you were in another world. It was a magical place where two little boys could throw snowballs at each other and yell timber as their daddy cut "the" tree down. We would freeze as Mike would walk the isles over and over and try to pick the perfect tree. After a while the boys didn't care. They just wanted to get on the horse-drawn carriage that pulled you back to the parking lot. The forest was closed soon after that Christmas and we returned last year without the boys to a small field that Sinissippi still has for people to cut their trees down. It is not the same. We brought our dog, Sadie, and there was snow but no children to laugh and giggle and fight and scream when the tree came down. This year we received a postcard that said it would be the final year for the Christmas tree farm at Sinissippi. We decided to drive to nearby McNabb and cut a tree at Boyle's Farm. It turned out to be a beautiful ride and even though it was a small farm the trees were well shaped and reasonably priced at thirty four dollars. No snow, no Sadie, no children, not even a "timber" and giggles and screams as the tree plunked down. Just one fraiser fir ready to come home to a sleepy dog and a curious cat.

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