Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — After that first Christmas, Alex didn’t care to climb the tree. He did, however, delight for a few years in batting a bell that always hung from a lower branch. (Guess who strategically put it there?) The rest of the time he found that the white sheet wrapped around the trunk made a perfect bed.
Then there was the year that the family tree fell. Well, almost fell. My sister Therese caught it as it was falling. Sort of. It was falling toward her, and she screamed and caught it, propping it up best she could until we came running in from the kitchen to help. But first, I laughed.
We determined the tree wasn’t in the stand properly but because it was partially decorated, we weren’t about to try and set it correctly. Instead, I retrieved a cinder block from the backyard and placed it on the opposite side of the tree stand, to counter the canting conifer.
We then placed a sheet around the tree, cleverly hiding the cinderblock from view. Had my father ever known, he would have been fit to be tied. There would have been a lecture about doing things right the first time. Surprisingly, he never cast a suspicious eye at that tree. “Surprisingly,” because a Christmas wasn’t a Christmas without my dad complaining that the tree was leaning. Our usual response: “The tree’s not leaning, Dad … you’re leaning.”
Speaking of Dad, he hated to see a burned out bulb, whether on the tree or among the outdoor lights hanging from the house and garage. He’d see a burned-out bulb and begin muttering to himself about how they don’t make things like they used to, how he used to go to the movies for a quarter and now he’d have to pull out the step ladder and hope he doesn’t slip on the ice. Exactly what the 25-cent movies had to do with replacing a light bulb remains a mystery to me.