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Pine Needle Soup

December 29, 2011

Remember when I posted about our awesome adventure to the Christmas tree farm where we cut down our very own glorious tree?  I think we picked a dud.  (Or, perhaps I turned it into a dud because I didn’t religiously water it as much as I should have, but I don’t think the stand was ever empty?)

After we got the tree home, trimmed the trunk again and got it into its stand, it had a horrible lean to it.  Wifey rigged up a system with ropes to straighten the tree out, but by the end of night, it had a wicked tilt again.  We stared at it for a week, talked about fixing it, but didn’t get around to it until the following weekend.  This was two weeks before Christmas.

We quickly realized that we had an extra branch that wasn’t allowing the trunk to get all the way down into the base.  Once we fixed that, the tilt problem was resolved.  Only in the process of fixing it, the tree began to rain needles down upon us.  This wasn’t a needle here or there.  It was a steady soft rain of needles.

Even after we had the tree back in place and it was decorated, you could sit on the couch and hear needles softly tumble to the ground.  Every few minutes you would hear a “whish” sound as more needles separated from the branch and fell all over the floor.

At first I thought it was a few needles here and there after the initial big shed.  But by Christmas morning we had a big problem on our hands.  We had huge bald spots.  Bare naked branches.  These were all on the lower part of the tree.

Every time someone walked by the tree and simply thrust air in its direction, needles would dive bomb to the floor.  While dealing with cleaning up a cup or two of needles isn’t the end of the world, we all began to dread the task of undecorating the tree and getting it out the side door.  We were sure this was going to be an epic disaster.  By the time we hauled this tree up the stairs and out the door, we were confident that it would be naked having shed every single last one of its needles in the house.

A tad bit dramatic perhaps, but I started to get this feeling that we might have a needly problem on our hands.  I decided that the kids and I would tackle this unpleasant chore while Wifey was at work today.

Only when I walked down the stairs to start the Christmas tree disassembly this is what I found.

In an effort to get his sister’s attention behind her closed bedroom door, Bubaloo began touching the tree .  He grabbed her wooden sword and started poking and jabbing away at the tree.  Once he got started he apparently couldn’t stop.  He just kept attacking the tree.

Somehow, unbeknownst to me on the top floor of the house, he managed to shake pretty much every single last needle off of the tree.  He was quiet and stealthy about it.  He didn’t harm or break a single ornament.  He poked at that tree until every single needle was shed onto our basement floor.

Have you ever seen anything like this?  The tree is totally naked, with the exception of the ornaments, of course.

When I walked down the stairs I was too awe struck to have a reaction.  Should I have laughed?  Should I have been irritated?  Should I have been angry?  Frankly I was dumfounded and amazed.  In my head this is what I imagined might to the tree as we lugged it up the stairs, but I never actually thought it would be that bad.  Every. Single. Needle. Gone.

When I fully absorbed the situation, I was impressed. It surely did make getting the tree out of the house and clean up a breeze for the kids and I.

By the way, when we took the tree out of the stand it was full of water and needles. Fragrant pine needle soup Bubaloo called it.  The tree didn’t die because of a lack of water.  So what the heck happened to our tree (besides the obvious answer of a little boy and a wooden stick)?

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