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Finding Ruby

It’s been easy in the past. So simple, in fact, that years in a row my getting out of the truck has been a mere formality to cutting down the family Christmas tree.  The rogue fir trees that lined my in-laws’ driveway seemed to wait in single file for us each December as we pulled up to their house, pointed to the winner, and whittled the thing down with a tiny handsaw and three sets of hands, all before I’d even unbuckled.

But last Saturday our trip to the mountains was like unwrapping a gift we didn’t even know we needed.

We dubiously left the house in homemade hats pulled down like helmets and our winter coats zipped up like puffy breast plates and quested past Enumclaw for a Christmas tree we hoped to find.

And then we realized that if this was all we’d come to see, it would have been enough.


And if the snow wasn’t being eaten, it was being launched…

Or lazed upon.

Where it had been gray and 30 degrees at the bottom. Here on top, the sun was blinding.

We think we’ve found the one.

Except further up the mountain we laid our eyes on this one. And we decided she’s coming home with us.

This is how two of us contributed to cutting down the tree.

We took a picture of the view.

And then we snapped one of the guys doing the work.

We surveyed the route they’d be dragging the tree down to reach the yellow sled.

And then we smiled at all the work we weren’t doing.

There might be a foot in between each branch.

Which fits fine with our lack of working out this year. We might have tumbled more times in the snow if she’d been any heavier.

It probably looks more like we picked out a piece of parsley here than a tree.  But she’s perfect.

And she’s coming home with us.

Now we’re wondering how far away we parked…

Cause somebody’s got to steer the tree that doesn’t want to stay in the sled down the road.

It won’t be until we’ve nearly connected again with Highway 410 that someone will chirp from the back seat, “I think we should call her Ruby.”  Which will have been preceded by discussing all the names we’ve held for each of our fir trees–Steve, Franklin, Larry, Phil…

Only there’s something different about bringing home a noble. You just know not to call her “Dave.”

The rest of us mull it over for a moment. “Ruby,” we say aloud.  “Ruby.” And with each whisper of the name, our lips rise at the corners and we nod our consent.

So here we are, carrying Ruby to the car.

And here she is ready for the ride to Graham,

God’s landscape.

Noble Ruby.


One Response to “Finding Ruby”

  1. Jackie says:

    Ruby’s special in so many ways. It’s the first tree in many years that didn’t come with Papa’s gentle helping hand; she’s your first Noble, at least in many a year; she’s grand
    and elegant; she’s going to look beautiful whether she’s covered in lights and ornaments, or left alone in front of the window for all to enjoy. Great job Munsons.

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