On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, everyone is still digesting their turkey dinners. Some, like my sister Vera, are probably having a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast. Why not? It’s made with a vegetable, eggs and some milk and tastes so good. It must be nutritious! (Better than Bill Cosby’s chocolate cake, anyway!) It’s the beginning of the holiday season and we all get to eat all sorts of yummy foods. It’s the season to be jolly and eating pumpkin pie for breakfast is not only allowed, but necessary. Someone needs to finish off the leftovers; after all, it’s almost time to start working on the Christmas day meal.
I’ve been thinking about what I used to do on my very favorite day of the holiday season. It’s just the best day of the year for me. The day after Thanksgiving was my day to drive up Highway 50 to visit my favorite Christmas tree farm and spend hours searching for the “perfect silver tip tree.” In years past one of my family members would make this pilgrimage with me, but all declined to join me the last few years. No patience; they just didn’t seem to understand it’s an art form and my mission to locate the perfectly formed tree. It must be silver tip, very tall and thin and most of all have “good definition.” And so the search would begin, tree after tree and I would quickly decide no, not good enough. Rejected!: branches much too sparse, not tall enough, large hole on the side or a crooked trunk. Last year I had noticed a tree which was high above those nearby but it had a small red ribbon attached and I assumed it was already purchased. I kept returning to look at it several times and finally asked one of the cutters if someone had already reserved the tree and was told that no tree can be reserved and the ribbon indicated it had been trimmed during the growing season and no one removed it. Aha, it was my perfect tree!
Alas this year it is not to be, as I am sitting here at my computer writing this tale some 10,000 miles away from Cameron Park and my beloved family. Much of Dubrovnik is still doing clean up from the storm this past Monday. The big storm has passed but the drizzle continues. The trees won’t be available in Dubrovnik until about one week prior to Christmas. They will be coming in by ship from the northern part of the country, as our weather here in the south is much too temperate for pine trees to grow. I’ve been waiting for the Rockefeller Plaza size tree to be delivered to the old town soon, but I do believe the town is holding back until we know the storms have passed and moved onward to other parts of Europe. Every morning I turn on the TV to our local Dubrovnik station to check if our tree is sitting at the Placa calling me down to the old town. Our tree finally arrived after a week delay due to the rainstorms but finally made it. You will find me sitting at one Gradska Kavana sipping my espresso every so slowly and taking in the sight of our huge Christmas tree on the Stradun, dreaming about cutting down the perfect tree.