samedi, décembre 20, 2008


Just as I was preparing to go out shopping today, Farmer Messner called to say they would drop off the tree.

I have tree anxiety. I am afraid that I will forget to get a tree until Christmas, when I awake from my stupor and notice that there are no pine needles on the floor near the living room couch.

My kids will be sad. My shabby but much loved ornaments, which I inherited from my parents, will lie boxed downstairs for a whole year. The cats won't have another water bowl from which to drink.

But I actually got Mr. C into the car a few days earlier than usual this year, and drove down the road to Bethany Farm.

"It's Elizabeth, isn't it?" said Dan Messner, the owner. "And I think you bought a white pine last year."

He consulted his book. I didn't remember, but he was spot on.

Farmer Messner and I have had a few conversations about local Messners (I have a good friend who shares that name, a common one around here), Christianity and the strangeness of being the last locally owned dairy farm in Wallace Township.

But even though he and I have talked, it still feels good to be called by name. There's nowhere else in my adult life where I have felt this passionate sense of belonging to a community.

When his son dropped off the white pine, which I will plant after Christmas, I put a few pans around it to catch the ice decorating its boughs.

Should we wait until Christmas Eve to decorate it?

I've got a few days to think about that -- four, to be exact.

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