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November 11, 2009 / dcwisdom

Christmas Tree Farm Story #1

As promised, the following is a silly, but true, story.  It’s embarrassing, but aren’t all such stories the funniest?

As I mentioned in a previous post, our family owned and operated a Christmas tree farm for several years.  All sorts of people and groups of people came to make memories, and we offered enjoyable, clean, and family-appropriate entertainment, like wagon rides, a gift shop, tetherball, wacky golf, and educational field trips.

The above photo is of a homeschool group.  They are sitting on a bailer table which we used to “wrap” the trees.  Please allow me a few details here.  See the boy in the red shirt on the front row?  Directly behind him is a 22 inch octagonal bailer.  It looks similar to a basketball goal turned on its side, but the bailer is about 18 inches in depth.  Encircling the bailer is a nylon net which, if stretched out, would be about 50 or 60 yards in length. 
See the boy in the cowboy hat on the end?  That’s Kid #2 Is he picking his nose?? who has pushed many-a tree through that bailer.  One helper pushes, and another pulls.   The tree passes through the bailer and is wrapped with a candy-cane net which makes the tree easier to transport.
Get on with the story!   One busy weekend, there were 60 or 70 people milling about, and all our helper boys were assisting customers in the field.  Kid #5, who was a wee one in the playpen, and I were in the gift shop checking customers out, and someone poked her head in the door to ask if anyone could help her with her tree bailing.  I stepped out of the building and saw no helper even close.
Now, mind you, I had just spent six years either pregnant or lactating.  Body parts were still loose.  My things just weren’t all together yet.
I told her, of course, I would help her.  By this time, maybe 10 or 15 people had come back from the fields, dragging their trees, and all were standing around, and I was the only soul to do this job.  Where were my guys?
First, I shook the lady’s tree in the tree shaker, and loaded the six footer up on the bailing table.  Why I didn’t ask some cute teenage boys standing around to help me, I don’t know.  I pushed the tree up into the bailer as far as I could and then went around the bailer to the other side to pull the tree through.
Up on the table I went.  My feet went against the sides of the bailer.  I reached forward to grab the tree inside the bailer, and I pulled………….
And all the air inside my body came screeching out!  A horrifying sound!  I thought, oh my gosh!  Oh my gosh!  Oh my gosh!  I stopped pulling and leaned forward, covering my face with my arms.  My first thought was to bust out laughing, but I was tooooo embarrassed.  I just sat there in front of the world, trying to figure out what to do in front of all these people.  
I finally threw a glance their way.  I said quietly and without a smile, “Go ahead and laugh.”  The teenage boys were already trying to hold in their gut busters.  The ladies had their hands over their mouths and their shoulders were shaking, and they were poking those boys to stop laughing.  The men had horrified looks on their faces which were quickly turning into mouth-open hee-haws.
Then…the whole world laughed, including me.  I fell back onto the table on my back, rolled off the side of the bailing table, and rolled under the table.  Then at once, all the people were rolling on the ground with me figuratively speaking, of course! laughing hysterically! 
By then, the helpers had returned and helped me out from under the table.  I stood proud and announced to everyone:  “I apologize.  This farm prides itself in family fun, not gross entertainment!” which started another wave of hysterical laughter.
I’m burning, burning, burning, just thinking about it!
I think those customers got their money’s worth.  I can only imagine the stories that were told around the dinner tables that night!  “Hey, today, at the Christmas tree farm…”  That story is probably still circulating.  Each year, around the family Christmas table, the story is retold:  “Hey, remember that year at the Christmas tree farm…”  Yeah, maybe they don’t remember…
Like I said, they came to make family memories.
See you in the funny papers.