Riding in a two-horse open sleigh

December 8, 2003 at 6:45 pm (General)

Well, actually, a cart. I’ll get to that.
Getting into the Xmas spirit here. Saturday, the milliner & I headed out to Ile-Perrot, to Quinn farms. S had this notion that it would be fun to cut down our own Xmas tree. “What, you want to go into the woods and cut down some tree? That’s illegal, you know,” says I. But no, apparently, and I’ve never heard of this in all my time, you can actually pay someone to cut down their tree. Yes, you the client do the work. So, we looked around on the Internet (another thing I learned: not only can you download a lot of free porn from the ‘Net, you can actually find things too. Who knew?), found a place near Montreal, and drove out Saturday afty.
So, the deal is, it comes to $35 to tree, with $5 for the sleigh ride. Being the perspicacious couple that we are, we assumed that if you paid the $35, the sleigh ride was included. Not quite. So, $50 later—$45 for the tree & ride, an extra $5 for the lovely fudge at the cash (can you say impulse buying?)—we wait around inside, outside, wherever, just to spend the time when the cart (no snow, no sleigh) picks us up. Huge horses. Freezing. Windy. Just brutal. The snow hadn’t started yet, it was really bitter out. Anyhow, the cart comes along, and we all pile in. Everyone’s completely bundled up against the wind. The milliner and I look around, admiring all the lovely little children who are there with their folks. Man, why didn’t we have such colourful winter clothes when we were younger, instead of those Model-T one-piece snowsuits that were impossible to move in and remove when nature called? Everyone’s freezing, the kids are having fun nonetheless, when the milliner and I suddenly realised that, hey, we’re the only couple here without a brood. “Ah, honey,” says I in one of my more supremely sympathetic and diplomatic moments, “we’re barren.” Silent treatment. Preceded by a punch to my shoulder. Hard.
We arrive to the tree plot, find a nice red spruce (picea rubra don’t ya know), about 6 feet high, takes about 20 seconds to saw down. Thank Loki, ’cause it was still fucking cold out. Head back to the cart. Wait another 30 minutes, while everyone else is finding and cutting down their own tree. Huge trees. I mean, 20-foot trees, 15-foot trees, every tree at least twice the size of ours. “Wow,” I remarked, “I wonder how much they’ll have to pay for those trees.” I, of course, was having one of my blond moments, because I had forgotten that the $35 paid for any sized tree.
All said and done, we shove the tree in the milliner’s tiny, 13-year-old Civic, and head back to town, this time through blinding snow. With summer tires. Get to her place, and then I’m sent out into the storm to pick up food, having to pay for the afternoon’s transgressions. But hey, at least we have a tree. Which I’m going to decorate with hundreds of Kinder toys.

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