While we were in Anchorage doing our grocery shopping, Kyle and I put together a plan to get our Christmas tree. We would fly back into town Wednesday night, so it would be too dark to get it Wednesday. We decided that we would be up and ready to go at sunrise (11:50AM) on Thursday morning. We knew we had a relatively narrow window of time to get our tree because sunset arrived at 3:30. When the sun doesn’t rise until noon, it’s easy to stay nestled in the house until 2pm, but we knew if we waited that long we wouldn’t make it back before the sun set.
At noon on Thursday, just as we were getting geared up and ready to head out, I received a phone call from a fellow teacher asking if we were going to the funeral that afternoon.
“Huh?” I asked. I hadn’t heard anything about a funeral.
It turned out that the funeral for a parent of one of my students was being held at 1pm that afternoon. Once I found this out, I turned to Kyle and asked him what we should do.
“Well, we’d better hurry!” he said as we finished getting bundled up and walked outside.
So, we threw Vicki in the sled, looked back to make sure she wasn’t going to fall out, and drove ourselves up Star Mountain. As we neared the top of a mountain I noticed a nice small tree that would be perfect for our neighbor. Vicki and I hopped out and she cut down the tree. After the tree was deposited in the sled, I jumped back onto the snowmachine with Kyle and Vicki jumped back in the sled. Although we hadn’t gone very far, we decided that in the interest of time we should complete our search for the perfect tree as we went down the mountain and back towards the village.
After a little bit I tapped Kyle on the back and attempted to point with my massive mitten, “What about that one?”
As we drove over to the tree, I noticed some imperfections, but I thought it was a nice height and the branches looked sturdy (last year our tree was relatively small and the branches were too thin to hold heavier ornaments), so Vicki took our her saw and got to work. All of a sudden, I looked at my watch and noticed it was 12:55 already. Kyle unhitched the sled, sped back to town, dropped me off at the church, and then went back to grab Vicki, the sled, and the tree. Eventually, both he and Vicki made it to the church as well.
Later that evening we decorated the tree. As I opened the box of decorations I came across our “First Christmas Together” ornament and my heart swelled with joy. Shortly after, I found the ornament that depicts a reindeer riding an ATV and burst out laughing. As we hung the ornaments up, Vicki came and gave us a snowshoeing moose for the tree. How cute! Finally, we hung up this year’s special ornament, a glass ball with two snowpeople hugging each other and the inscription “Engaged 2010” on it. Happily, we sat down on the couches and admired our tree.