Jill and I went out and got a tree late yesterday afternoon. (Since I started work at six a.m. I had already put in more than a full day's work by quarter to four... so, no, I wasn't slacking off.)
We got to the tree farm and headed off into the maze of trees about four o'clock. Sunset was around 4:16, but with hills and hundreds of trees, it was not exactly high noon in the midst of the trees. Okay, since there were some fairly wide (eight to ten feet) straight paths that crossed at right angles as they crossed through the farm, it was not exactly a maze, but once you stepped off those wide paths and got into the rows of trees, it would be easy to get, if not lost, at least a bit disoriented... not in terms of being able to find your way back to the parking lot, but in terms of being able to find a particular tree again.
"Oh, that's a good one. Let's look around some more and come back if we don't see anything we like better."
--- A few minutes of walking and looking ---
"Okay, let's go back to that one we picked out.... Uh, where was it?"
Heh! That's pretty much the way this kind of thing usually goes, although actually this time we had no problems finding our way back to that previously noticed tree.
I suppose we could have gone on looking and looking... but it was beginning to get dark enough that visibility was somewhat less than ideal. The above picture shows Jill using the saw on the base of the tree. (At least her hair shows up in the dark -- please note that this was a flash picture.) Did you notice how tall some of those trees behind her are? You'd better have cathedral ceiling in your great room if you get one of those... or plan to cut off a lot of the bottom.
My turn with the saw. Yeah, there was not much room between the bottom branches and the ground. (And you can see what I mean about how gray my hair is getting.)
We weren't the last customers cutting down a tree -- there were two other groups still sawing as we carried our tree back to the parking lot -- but by the time we got it bailed in plastic netting to compress its girth and paid for it ($40 plus sales tax) and got it onto the roof of my car and lashed down good so it wouldn't fall off on the way home, we were the last customers leaving the lot.
Drive home, untie the tree and put it on the front porch, wash up and change clothes, and then Jill and I hopped back into my car and drove to Providence (while Nancy went out to dinner with her autumn tennis league) where we had dinner at Sakura, our favorite Japanese restaurant. (And even though we had not been there since August, the hostess greeted us and asked if we wanted our usual dinner (miso soup, house salad, eggplant, teriyaki chicken) and we said yes and added that we also wanted to split a small dish of vegetable sushi. (They're a BYOB place, so after we find a parking space (which can take some doing on busy Wickenden Street) we tend to stop at Campus Fine Wines (yes, this neighborhood is just a few blocks from Brown University and RISD) to pick up some Japanese beer (last night we picked Asahi, other times we get Kirin or Sapporo).
Then it was off to 2nd Story Theatre for a rollicking performance of David Copperfield. This was probably the largest cast I've seen there (except, perhaps, when they did Auntie Mame) and even so they had people playing double and triple (and perhaps more) roles and they did it on an almost totally bare stage -- a trunk (replaced by a bench in the second half) on the front of the stage and a couch and a pair of chairs on the back half of the stage which were pushed back out of the way when not needed (oh, and some nautical-looking ropes for the storm-at-sea scene). The cast -- adults and children -- were sharp and talented, the action was fast-paced (which it had to be to stage this huge play in not quite two and a quarter hours!). Typical Dickens, of course, mixing broad comedy and tear-jerking soap-opera, improbable plot twists, and some dark social commentary. A marvelous evening.
And on Tuesday Jill & I are going for more Dickens -- A Chrismas Carol at Trinity Rep. Nancy and I have subscriptions to their regular 2006-07 season, the current play being Dublin Carol, but our tickets are for early January. A Christmas Carol is an annual event, outside of their regular subscription series. Trinity Rep has two auditoriums in their main building and another that is used for educational programs in a nearby converted bank building and they frequently have more than one play being done at the same time In fact, right now they have three plays running simultaneously because their education consortium with Brown University is doing Macbeth. (Yes, I'm trying to figure out some way of getting to see that.)
Blasts from the past -- selected entries from the archives for this date: