Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Life in Trees.

By Gerry Wendel, Groovy Reflections Founder and Team member

Not talking about swinging from limb to limb. We had a giant pine tree in the background however; the lowest branches were too high to even think about climbing in, thanks to my dad sawing off the lower branches! I did climb a tree a few times in a friend’s yard though.

We’re talking about Christmas trees!

I vaguely remember an artificial tree that was white when I was really young. It had lots of shiny ornaments on it in yellow and red, with a few green glass balls and lots of blue! 

And the blue theme continued outside; in the front yard the small pine tree (maybe about eight feet high) was adorned with big blue bulbs. Yes, only blue, and the larger bulbs that were seven watts each. Hey, electricity was cheap! To bring a little more punch, 2 red wreaths with a sole red bulb were hanging in the two bay windows in front of the house. 

Sure, most homes decorated with a lot more color than we did!

Our family later graduated to an artificial tree in green. It was fun putting it together with the color coding on the tip of the metal rods. First we’d sort them by color and then go to town putting them into the poll. That tree wound up moving with me a few times and I lost it during a move. I may have given it away too.

When I reached adulthood, I had to try out having a real tree. I was really bad at watering it and pine needles were everywhere! At the time I on a tinsel kick, however, I gave that up when I realized that my dog was pulling tinsel off the lower branches, eating it, and then gracefully throwing it up. Ick.

A few years later I started discovering all things mid-century modern. Never mind that my house was Victorian! I started buying color wheels at garage sales for around $3 each. My first aluminum tree was $1. It is three feet tall and was in the original box with thin paper tubes protecting most of the branches. I happily (and stupidly) strung lights on it the first couple years I used it until someone told me that was dangerous! 

Then I hit the mother lode; a six foot high aluminum tree for $15! It even came with swanky turquoise tassels with gold trim (which I have never used on the tree!). 

Each year they are taken out of the box and assembled more aluminum falls off. Both are looking a bit shabby nowadays and were last used in 2010. 

About ten years ago I bought a three foot high light green tree; pre lit. That one goes into use as an accent tree nowadays, usually in the dining room.

2011 called for a change. Found a website where trees come in all colors and sizes! Debating on a color was hard; my brain kept saying “be practical and go for green or white”. While really digging the purple, then thinking that was too extreme, I settled on orange and haven’t looked back. 

Three pieces, pre-lit, (even the wiring is orange to match) ten minutes and it is up! Lots of colors look terrific on it! So there you have it; a new tradition.

Next year? Who knows? Maybe I’ll drag out the aluminum trees once again. Stay tuned.

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Guy Sharwood said...

I remember being envious in my grade school years because our neighbors had all advanced to aluminum trees or color wheels, and we got old fashioned evergreens every year right up to when I was 14. It was the first year that my folks had opted for an artificial tree--the first I think of two trees we used up to my Mom's passing in 1996. Fond, the cat we had when I was growing up, loved the trees, until the presents would start piling up, edging her out of the picture.

Anonymous said...

Orange Christmas tree? Very groovy!! We had one of those color-coded artificial trees, too. What a pain setting it up when the branches started sagging and we pulled out the duct tape (of course).... Always enjoy sharing your memories!!