The 11 Foot Tree That Could…Or…The Russians Saved The Day

I think I told you a couple of blog posts ago that this year I finally decided to indulge my dream of having more than one Christmas tree. We now have a house that is set up in a way that I can do that. And do it, I did.

The week prior to Thanksgiving I decorated the house and we bought our first artificial tree (tree #1) for the family room. I had my doubts and opinions about an artificial tree, but it’s gorgeous and boy was it nice not having to string the lights. The thing I like most about this tree is that it’s well behaved.

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Last weekend we drove to our favorite place to cut tree #2. It’s beautiful and smells amazing, and is 11 feet tall.

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It’s quite a sight. Especially when you get out of the shower and come downstairs to find it lying on the floor.

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First, I just stood there at the top of the stairs. Then I believe the phrase, “shit, shit, shit” came out of my mouth at least once. And then when I finally decided this was not just a bad dream, the dogs and I had a conversation about what we were going to do. Because when things like this happen, you’re always home alone. With an 11 foot tree on its side, in your bare feet.

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Ornaments were shattered everywhere. Beautiful  ornaments I purchased in New Hampshire that I won’t be able to replace. Water was all over the carpet and flooring.

Thankfully, the wrapped Christmas presents are in the family room under the well behaved tree #1.

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Allow me to back up a minute. When we originally put the tree in the stand, it was malfunctioning. It wouldn’t lock and the tree kept tipping. I mentioned that I thought we needed to run and buy a new stand because the last thing I wanted was an 11 foot, decorated tree, with expensive ornaments on the floor.

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Tony didn’t like that idea because it meant taking it out of one and putting it in another, which he thought would be too difficult. This was his solution. “Gorilla Tape”. Because men think that almost everything can be remedied with a little duct tape. Well, when I saw the tree on the floor I immediately thought, DAMN that duct tape! But it was still fully intact, so it seems that the innards of the stand just gave up the ghost. You can see where the plastic is broken.

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So after texting our son and texting Tony and trying to get someone to come over here to help me get it off the floor…I had to resort to construction workers. Having them around the neighborhood all the time is quite handy.

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I threw on some clothes, put a coat on and walked to the end of our street to one of the new construction houses where I could see a worker’s car. I walked in and yelled, “Hellllloooo?” I heard, “Hello?” I found them, an older gentleman and his young son, and my hair wasn’t done, I had no make up on, and I’m sure I sounded completely crazy. “Hi, I was just in the shower and our 11 foot Christmas tree fell over and there’s glass and broken ornaments and water all over the place and my husband isn’t home and I have to get it off the floor before the water ruins the flooring and I obviously cannot lift an 11 foot tree all by myself can you help me lift it up no big deal really we just need to get it into the corner until my husband gets home would you guys help me lift it into the corner just really quickly it won’t take long at all?” All in one run on sentence and one breath.

Well as you may or may not know, we have a pretty large population of Russians & Ukrainians in our area and they aren’t exactly the chatty type. Or known to be overly excitable or even all that outwardly friendly compared to what Americans consider “outwardly friendly”. They’re very serious folks. Kind of like people say how New Yorker’s are, just less…exuberant.  Dad looked at son like he would rather be doing anything other than helping the crazy lady and did not move a single muscle along with looking a bit disgusted. I wasn’t entirely sure he understood me so I had my laser focus on the son. He said something to his Dad, asked me where I lived and put his coat on. Dad stayed put.

I told him I had two big dogs but they they were very friendly and LOVED people. We walked in the house, and it took all of 2 minutes to get the tree off the ground. I guess Dad had decided to come down to help after all and right at that point we were getting it off the floor he walked in. He looked at the mess on the floor and the tree up against the wall.

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I looked at him, shook my head, and said, “I-Yi-Yi”. He looked at me very sincerely with a sad look and said, “Yes. I-Yi-Yi”. I thanked them both profusely for their help and as they were leaving Abigail growled at them and acted like she was going to bite them. That’s the first time she has ever growled or been aggressive toward a human being. Way to be thankful, Abigail.

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Evidently Tony was actually in town, he just wasn’t answering his phone because he was having a hair cut. Once he finally took a look at the pictures I had texted him he called and we decided a new tree stand was in order. And not even once did, “I told you so” come out of my  mouth.

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So I swept up the glass and the glitter and the needles and moved the furniture because they were on top of, and under everything. Vacuumed the rug as best I could, rolled it up, and hauled it to the garage. It was soaked and dirty and luckily just an inexpensive piece to have in the living room so Romeo wouldn’t ice skate across the floor anymore. We’ll have to go today to get something else because he’s already noticed it’s gone and won’t step a foot in there.

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We devised a plan on how we were going to lift the tree out of the broken stand and into the new one without breaking more ornaments or dropping it. The thought of un-decorating that tree and re-decorating it was far too much for me to wrap my head around. After a few minutes, we had it figured out. I held it so it wouldn’t tip over, not an easy feat considering it’s 6′ taller than I am. Tony got below and somehow lifted it out of the old stand and into the new one. A couple of adjustments and maybe 5 minutes and it was done. And oddly enough…. right now as I type this I’m looking out my office window… the construction boy is outside taking a picture on his phone of our house…obviously an entertaining story to be told to friends and family about the crazy American woman and her insane need to have two trees, and her very un-thankful, vicious, dog that she said was friendly.

After we got it standing again I didn’t even want to look at it for the rest of the night. I waited until this morning to put the remaining unbroken ornaments that had somehow hit the floor and not shattered back on. I removed more broken ornaments that were still stuck to the tree and straightened the lights. I took a good look at it and noticed it was a bit wonky from the fall.

I shrugged my shoulders, and said, “so be it”.

Незалежно буде , то буде .

“Whatever will be, will be.” (In Ukrainian)

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7 Comments on “The 11 Foot Tree That Could…Or…The Russians Saved The Day

  1. Oh April, I am so sorry, but I had to laugh. You are such a good writer and the scene with you and the Russions was hilarious. Hopefully some of the friends you Made in NH can find and replace some of your ornaments. A side from that, your house must be very very beautiful and large to with stand two 11ft. trees. You are so talented and love to read everything you write. From you blog to all your funny stories and your inspirations. thank you, and we hope you and Tony have a very Merry Christmas. Hugs Jean

    Peace is the result of Retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.

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    • I’m glad you liked the story, Jean, and I’m glad we were able to recover the tree! The other tree is only 7.5 feet tall, thank goodness and requires absolutely zero care.

      I hope you and Al have a very merry Christmas too! xoxo

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  2. What a story! I love how you have more than one tree. We have had the tree-crashing-down-in-the-middle-of-the-night scenario too and yes, it was also because while I had my doubts it was secure, my husband had had enough and said, ‘she’ll be right’. And ‘she’ wasn’t. It really does make such a mess and you do lose so many gorgeous ornaments. I’m so pleased your gifts were under the well-behaved tree. Your tree is so pretty (both of them), they just look stunning. We’ll be buying ours next Saturday. I’d love to put it up now but with the heat, it will just die before the big day xx

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    • Can’t wait to see pictures of your tree! 🙂 So far the big tree is staying where it belongs. I don’t think I could handle another “incident”.

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  3. I admire your lack of ‘I told you so!’! Such restraint! Your comment upon seeing the mess is exactly what I would’ve said! We need a good artificial tree that won’t break the bank. Where’d you get yours?

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    • We got it at Home Depot. I love it! Its one of the Martha Stewart trees. Has a little fluff in some of the branches and pine cones here and there. I think they are still on sale. Under $200. I cant remember but I think we paid around $150. Not bad considering the fresh ones we buy are $45 every year.

      Believe me, I may have not said I told you so out loud, but it was definitely on repeat in my head. LOL

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  4. Pingback: Let’s Do Some Catching Up! | gluten free zen

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