The Curmudgeons Tree

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After days of rain, it felt good to feel the warm sun peeking out through the clouds and walk outside without bulky coats. Everything on our first pass looked too big, too shrubbery.

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We headed back towards the normal-sized trees, where the selection stood closer together and the scent of real Douglas Fir made us all inhale deeply. A broad-shouldered, weathered man in overalls with gray hair peeking out from his Stowe Farms ballcap came slipping down the hill. Insurance reasons. You got to use one of our saws.

On a Tree — Something Funny

We told him we understood and followed obediently up to the white canopy where he offered us a sharp bandsaw. After circling the farm a few more times, we declared a winner: Well shaped, full all-around, and it dwarfed six-foot Husband. Our ritual calls for each of us to take a turn chopping down the tree, with Daughter and I performing ceremonial cutting and Husband and Son doing most of the hacking.

After little struggle thanks to our strong year-old, the tree hit the ground, the gator arrived to cart it to the truck, and we headed over to the gift shop.

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We sniffed the goat soap and glanced at the standard selection of tree stands and ornaments before heading out the door. Owner Gwen Stowe saw us admiring the classic vehicle and told us the truck first belonged to her father-in-law. He eventually sold it.

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A few years later, Tim spotted it again on the side of the road with a sale sign on the window. Gwen nodded. She drove the high school bus when she was 15 years old, which, like the truck, had manual transmission and steering. That took some serious strength, not to mention discipline and patience to get up that early and put up with all those kids, I noted. Its large father eyed us warily from the other side of the fence, with the same demeanor of a New York cop whose glance told you to move along.

Jan and the Curmudgeons at Our Community Cup Coffeehouse

The no axe insurance guy stood nearby, thanking a couple for coming to the farm. I found it to be a strange thing that He was saying to me. But in my heart, I knew it was Him. And then started the questions from my friend…. Place things where YOU think they would look good. The result? The house looks festive.

The Curmudgeon's Tree

And different. I yielded.

Concerning Lions - Young Curmudgeon - 8/21/2010

I did not resist. That change resulted in a different outcome than the usual. As I reflected on this all, I realized how resistant we can be to change. But as we age, we need to make room for change — our children become adults, we gain their spouses, grandchildren are born.

Life changes. And the bottom line is — there are other ways to doing life than our way. My way need not be set in stone. See, I am doing a new thing!

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Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? If we dwell on the former things, we may very well miss the new thing that God is desiring to bring about in our lives. For the truth is, He often does that new thing in the very least likely place. It may not look like anything we have ever seen before.