The Big Daddy and I have been going back and forth about a tree. Real or fake? Actually, I'm the one going back and forth. He doesn't participate in my anxiety-filled decisions as they are frequent. And quite meaningless.
After shopping around for a fake one I made a last try at The Hob Lob. I found a skinny, flocked frasier fir that was pre-lit. Marked half price at $199.00 and it was the perfect fit for my little living room. I stared and stared at it but couldn't bring myself to pay that much money for a fake tree. A fake tree made in China.
The decision was made.
On Friday night we decided to go to the local hardware store's tree lot which is where I fell in love with the tree salesman. He was bustling around by himself when we showed up and started talking to him. He was about our age or a little older and has been working there since August. Moving all those mums and pumpkins and now trees these past few months and he's lost fifteen pounds.
We picked our tree out and he cut the bottom of the trunk and down below were all these little wood tree circles and I asked if I could have a few for something I want to make. "Well, heck, you can have 'em all," he said. I was going to have a couple feet of garland cut and he scrounged a couple of branches on the ground and threw those in so I wouldn't have to buy any garland. "You folks are the recycling type, aren't ya?" Why yes we are.
I went inside for something and when I came out he and Mark were having a deep discussion about composting. Come here after dark and you can raid the dumpster for all the compost you need, he told us. Then he wished us a merry everything and said we made his night a little more fun.
When I was a little girl, my dad would sometimes take me to the hardware store on Saturday mornings and I would hold the brown paper bag while he counted nails and dropped them in. Don't mix 'em up, Kate. We've got to keep them straight. We'd carry them up to the front to pay, walking along the creaky wood floor and one of the employees would always say to my dad, "Looks like you brought a little helper along today." Yep, Dad would say and she's a good one.
Guys who work in hardware stores........a crush that goes way back.