Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree

It's now a tradition -- bringing home the Christmas tree on the back of the Vespa. I can't help but think of Clark Griswold in the Christmas Vacation movie driving to get a tree in the woods for an old fashion family Christmas. I may have even sung a carol or two on the way home.

The tradition's continuation was still in question that morning. Kim and I were talking about alternatives to a tree, it was getting late in the season, and we just weren't sure. Sitting in Starbucks enjoying a pre-holiday breakfast of tea and chocolate marble cake I decided to ride to the Tait Farm for a tree.

Business was slow on a weekday this close to Christmas so I had the place pretty much to myself. A few people were wandering around looking at trees and decorations. With the temperature in the upper 30's the melting snow made the fields a little sloppy so I decided to buy a pre-cut tree rather than wander around with a saw and cut my own. Waiting patiently among the pines and spruces was a lovely six and a half foot Douglas Fir.

It didn't take long to strap the tree to the rear rack and start towards home. While there weren't a lot of people at the farm there was a lot of traffic on the road (US 322) running past the place. It's a main artery between Interstate 80 and points south through Central Pennsylvania and thick with trucks and cars. I wanted to take a more rustic and relaxed path home -- to the right I would find a nice gravel road but with no winter maintenance it would likely still be covered with snow and ice. To the left just a half mile down the road I could turn off and ride through a golf course and into a quiet valley that would lead me home. I waited until I could see a big gap in traffic and made a beeline towards the golf course. With the tree on the back I couldn't go much faster than 45 MPH without the tree beginning to shake. I could see a line of tractor-trailers bearing down on me in my rear-view mirrors. By the time I made the turnoff they were only a hundred feet behind me and coming fast. Ho. Ho. HO!

Once in Brush Valley things were much more relaxed and I could ride along slowly and enjoy the scenery and sing a few bars of Let it Snow and I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas. Dean Martin or Bing Crosby I'm not. Having earplugs does enhance the singing of even a less than mediocre singer like me.

I didn't go straight home. I wanted to find another present for Kim so I stopped at the soon to go out of business Federal House, a small gift shop with an eclectic collection of things. With everything at 75 percent off I purchased two 10 by 16 inch paintings mounted in ornate, rustic metal frames. No problem with transport on the Vespa -- just strapped them down on top of the tree with a few more bungee cords.

I like Christmas and tradition is important. If you are looking to add one yourself you may want to consider hauling a Christmas tree home on the back of your scooter or motorcycle. It looks more imposing than it actually is. The tree weighs less than a passenger and when balanced correctly it doesn't even take much to keep it attached. Keep the tree less than 9 feet in length and you won't even be a wide load!

13 comments:

Heinz & Frenchie said...

That was great fun to read about and see the photos. Are you going to show us a photo of the tree once you have it decorated? Enjoy the holidays and hope you get to ride.

Joe said...

I poached a pic with comment on my blog.

Giest said...

Hey Steve, I love that Christmas tradition. Glad to see that there were no Griswold "incidents". ;)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours. Good thoughts and good wishes to your friend John and his family.

Steve Williams said...

heinz & frenchie: Yeah, I'll post a picture of the tree once it's set up. You have a great holiday too!

joe: I checked it out and it looks good.

giest: No incidents thankfully. Have a fine Christmas and New Year too!

Bill Sommers said...

I was waiting for this post. There is something about this new tradition that touches my holiday spirit, and I was happy to see that you did it again Clark.

Have fun and Merry Christmas,
Bill

Conchscooter said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this but I guess this is my only Christmas tradition left in my middle age. I think its time you took the tree home on a bicycle. A GTS is too easy.

Phil said...

Steve,

I'm glad to see Xmas traditions thrives on a scooter. My scooter is red and I have the spirit all year long even a red jacket to match. I can look like Santa as well and quite very easily with so many fruit cakes to enjoy with cookies and milk. :)

Merry Christmas...

Phil

EZ Nashville said...

Merry Christmas!
I sure do enjoy your pictures.

Steve Williams said...

bill: It is one of the less stressful traditions around the holidays. I really would like to cover my roof with Christmas lights though...

conchscooter: Well, you may be right. Starting to ride the bicycle again couldn't hurt me or my slowly advancing weight. If there is a downside to riding it's that is isn't much in the way of exercise. At least not in the luxurious manner afford by the Vespa.

phil: Sounds as if you are set to keep the Christmas spirit all year long. Merry Christmas to you!

ex nashville: I'm glad you enjoy the pictures. Making them is just as enjoyable.

Ara & Spirit said...

Have a Greaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Holiday Steve and Family! Some day we are going to visit this little town of yours!!! By the way... have you changed camera?... lens? Your pictures are awesome...
Be well... Ara & Spirit

bikerphoto said...

A very entertaining story! I thought I had transported some unusual things on a motorcycle, but the idea of hauling a Christmas tree never crossed my mind. My hat is off to you. You have a great sense of adventure. Have a great Christmas!

Orin said...

Hello Steve, it's fun seeing the Vespa with the tree. In Seattle, you will usually see a tree tied to the roof of an old Volvo or Subaru. I think the owners of the Bimmers and Lexi have a tree delivered and pay someone to decorate it. Sad.

Have a merry, red-blooded, two-fisted, all-American Christmas! The Red Ryder carbine could yet appear under your tree...

__Orin
Scootin' Old Skool

SheRidesABeemer said...

Have a holly jolly Christmas!