Thursday, July 07, 2005

Christmas in July

When I went to the dump this morning I pulled up behind this:

Christmas in July Posted by Picasa

At first I thought nothing of it. The dump has an area to drop off brush. The brush is then ground up into mulch that is free to all comers. Many a time I have followed whole truckloads of tree branches to the dump. The truckload of future mulch bears to the right and I with my smelly cargo double back to the left.

As I sat behind the trailer I idly looked over the contents. The driver ahead of me was taking a very long time and there was nothing else to look at. As I sat there, it slowly dawned on me that that was not just any pile of dried out pine branches; it was a former Christmas tree. I could see strands of tinsel still clinging to the desiccated branches. It is after the fourth of July and they are just now getting rid of their tree? It was so surreal I had to take a picture before it got mulched. I was just able to squeeze off a shot when it (finally) pulled away.

Growing up it was my job to dispose of the tree on our property (my mother favors houses with a fair bit of wooded land). The tree had to be down before twelfth night and should be gone within the next week. She really didn’t care what I did with it, she just wanted it gone. My favorite dumping ground was a sinkhole that was at the second house we moved to in Vermont. It was amazing how the tree would simply disappear. I would drag the sad carcass across the bright white snow, leaving a swath of dark green needles in my wake. It would be very quiet out, just the sound on me struggling through the deep snow and the swish of the branches. On the whole it was a very satisfying job. Nowadays I don’t do a tree at my house (since I converted) and my Mom’s trash man hauls her tree away.

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