If A Tree Falls

Every year I order my Christmas tree as part of a fundraiser from my son Jack’s high school. I’ll have one of the student volunteers unfurl one after the other, while I tell them that my son went there and maybe they’ve heard of him. They’ll stare at me blankly.  

This year I ran into my good friend Sharon who was also picking up her tree.

“After you’ve picked yours out, throw it in the back of our truck.” Sharon suggested.


Sharon and her family had already picked out their tree and were ready to go. I didn’t want to hold them up, so I didn’t bother to untie any trees while still on the lot. Instead, I picked the tallest one I could find and had them pop it into the back of her truck, and off we went.

That night my daughter, Lindsay, and I spent an hour wrestling with this nine-foot noble fir tree, trying to get it to fit inside the tree stand. We turned it one way and then the other while burrowing the screws inside the eight-inch trunk. 

“Mom, it’s wobbling.”

Back under its boughs until finally, we got it to stand. Slowly, we let go and stood back.

“Hmmm. Is it just me, or does it lean to one side?” I asked.

“Don’t worry about that. It’s standing.”

Good point.

With that, Lindsay and I began stringing the lights around this green beast. As I dug through the ornament tub, I heard a creaking sound. I swiveled around just as the tree tilted forward with a loud crack.


Lindsay threw her arms out stretched just in time before it crashed to the living room floor.

“Now, what do I do?” Lindsay asked. “Mom, it’s heavy.”

I mopped up the spilled water from the broken stand. Luckily, I had a spare in the garage. Doesn’t everyone?

“Keep holding it.”

An incredible amount of time passed while I was screwing around with this tree.

“Mom, my arms are shaking.”

“Almost got it.”

“Look, our friend Jim is here.”

“What? Why would he be here?”

“Delivering a present?”

“I don’t think so.” However, I did hear the gate open. 

With her knee, Lindsay knocked the front window open, “Help! Help! Can you help us? Our tree has fallen, and we can’t get it up.”

“Sorry, I’m the Amazon delivery guy. Good luck.”

The gate slammed shut. Feeling defeated and blurry-eyed, I moaned, “Lindsay, I give up. I will have to call one of the guys to help us.”

“Wait, Mom,” Lindsay protested from under the tree’s weight. “Girl Power. We can do this. We don’t need a man to help us.”

She was right. What was I thinking? With the power of ten men, I shoved that stand on the bottom and screwed it in.

“Ha! Hoist ‘er up, I say!”

This time it was perfect. The most beautiful tree we had ever had. Now, I felt intoxicated with power. The next day when Lindsay shouted, “Mom, the cable’s not working,” I instructed, “Unplug it. Wait a minute. Plug it back in.” I have no idea where that came from.

“That worked.”

“Did I fix the TV cable? We are so re-caulking that bathroom tub!”

“What have I done?” Lindsay sighed.

Live with Waffletude.

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