austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

From Saginaw's tall whispering pines

I've never before bought a Christmas Tree. Before going to college I was at the age when it was clearly my parents' responsibility to buy a tree on the occasional year when we didn't use the artificial one. Once I went to college I was away between Thanksgiving weekend and as close to Christmas as I could get (my parents had the idea I wanted to leave minutes after my last exam was done; I had the idea I wanted to be on my own as long as possible; and after my second semester I invariably ``happened'' to have a final the last day of exams), so the tree was bought before I got home. Ditto with graduate school, and then once I was in Singapore for most of December the tree was up weeks before I was back in North America. I could in theory have bought a tree at college, but when I was living in dorms or grad student housing Official Dorm Rules did not explicitly prohibit the existence of Christmas Trees but they were not encouraging. And when I had my own apartment, in Troy or in Singapore, since I was going to be gone for a half a week before and around a week after Christmas there wasn't any point having a tree anyway.

So it was odd my mother asked me to buy a tree this year, but it's been an odd year. What with weekends being filled with things like going to Manhattan and weekdays being filled with things like my mother's eye surgery there hasn't been time to decorate. So a couple days ago my mother asked me to buy a tree, and I said I would if I saw one, and I gradually came to realize that I had not the slightest idea where trees are sold. My father recommended the Grange, which I assume is related to the old Grangers movement, although since the only Grange I knew offhand was a road intersecting Orchard Road in Singapore this wasn't helpful. My father gave directions, pointing to a location which if I wasn't mistaken was presently a small strip mall containing a Dunkin' Donuts and a Subway shop that opened in July and closed last month. I was mistaken. Just before this mall is a well-camouflaged little Grange shop, and they had a small scattering of trees.

Since the spot's also by a Lowe's, my father asked me to pick up some parts for a picture case that he's building, and paint for a metal grate he's painting. My father was careful to explain the picture case parts were in the middle of aisle 1; in fact, they were at the front of aisle 2. He also explained that the paint was in the leftmost of the three aisles labelled paint; in fact, they were on the far end of the middle aisle. I suspect he was thinking of another Lowe.

Trivia: In the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, some Bostonians gave up on eating fish caught in the harbor, as they had ``drunk'' East India Tea. Source: Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, Christopher Hibbert.

Currently Reading: The Age of Voltaire, Will and Ariel Durant.

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