Ok, so, the story continues. LLL is playing in Holyoke, Mass, which is about 2 hours from me. It’s a 2pm show, so working backwards I plan to leave around 11-11:30 in the morning. We wanted to get a Christmas tree this weekend, and we’re sure about the timing (the rest of Saturday, and much of Sunday, are already booked). The early plan was to get the tree Saturday morning, then put it up and decorate it Sunday night. Instead, on a tip from a friend, we go get the free Friday night, and put it up Saturday morning. That way the wife and kids can decorate while I’m off at the show, and it’ll be a good project what turns out to be a rainy/snowy day. Plan goes off without a hitch, and I hit the road around 11:30 or so. I get about 45 minutes away from home when the phone rings, and I think it’s Kerry checking on my progress in the snow. “Tree fell down,” she tells me in a panic. She’s holding it up with one hand, dialing with the other, trying to call anybody in town who might be home, whose number she remembers. I call one friend – no answer. I call another who says that he’ll go right over. I mean, I’m stuck – even if I turn around and call off the whole day’s plans, it’s still 45 minutes for me to get home. I call back Kerry, and one of her friends has come over as well, so everything seems to be going well. I arrive at the show without a problem. Call back, and my friend (Rob) answers the phone. “Still working on it!” he tells me. I think he is kidding, but he is not. I’m early so I grab some lunch, and 5 minutes before the show starts I call one more time to say “I’m going to be out of touch for a couple hours.” Kerry answers, “Can’t talk, still working on it!” That’s the frame of mind I’m in when the show starts. I’ll detail the show in Part Three, but let’s jump to when I get home. The tree is up, tied to the wall. I see a new vacuum cleaner in the corner, which has been borrowed from our neighbor because ours (which, by the way, was down in the basement hiding behind the Christmas presents) is broken anyway. All of the carnage has been cleaned up, so I do not fully appreciate what has gone on here today. The funny part? First of all, that’s the third time that a tree has gone down on us. So the way I see it, Christmas trees each come with their own story. 🙂 Second, the neighborhood Christmas party was tonight, and Kerry’s day is the talk of the town. Because she called everyone, who in turn bumped into everyone else. Best story comes from one lady who says “I heard you calling and….well, we don’t have the kids this weekend. So we…let it ring? You know? We were kinda…ummm…busy. “ Nice. “After all I figured Oh, that’s Kerry, I’ll see her tonight at the party.” I see my friend, the one who I called first, and he says the same thing – “Dude, saw you called and figured I’d see you tonight. What’s up?” “Tree was on my wife,” I reply. Takes us awhile to convince him that we are not kidding. Kerry spends the evening (well deserved drink in hand!) telling people that screw it, next year we’re just converting to Judaism so we don’t have to worry about the tree. I point out the middle road between Catholicism and Judaism is “artificial tree.” But we both know that in our world, it’s more likely that we’ll convert than put up a fake tree. Just not gonna do it. :) We’ll just have to remember to tie the thing off every year from now on.