Behemoth 2: I Thought You Couldn’t Be Beat

Don’t sequels sometimes have funny names? If this sequel were a movie, it would be called Behemoth 2: The Behemothing.”

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!
(This is NOT Behemoth 2, but it’s a nice teaser..)

We once had a Christmas tree so large, we named it Behemoth.

The thing is, it happened four years ago. You remember, right? If not, read here. It’s true. We thought our lives were in danger. They probably were. And that’s not as near-death as I’ve gotten (or even close) but we did swear we’d never do it again. That’s why we had “sensible” 10-15 foot Christmas trees for the last three years. How did we come to this again?

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

And how are we still standing? Better yet, how is the tree still standing? The tradition, for several years now, is to go up the street to the amazing restaurant, market, ice cream stand, butcher, deli, farm, orchard and get our Christmas tree the day BEFORE Thanksgiving. Yes, it leads to some stares, but we never decorate until Black Friday anyway. And we have so many ornaments that it takes all day, and they don’t all fit on the tree anyway! Or at least, that used to be the case.

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

Things were weird this year. We went to the farm, the day before Thanksgiving, (and in the rain) and they didn’t have anything big and gorgeous! So we went to yet another farm on the way home (we seriously just live on a road of tree farms) and they didn’t have any trees yet but texted their supplier for an answer. He said he had nothing big but directed us to Chestnut Mountain Tree Farm in Hatfield. Noted. Called. With that in mind for Friday, we enjoyed our Thanksgiving.

Then we went early Black Friday morning dressed to the nines.

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

We Christmased the heck out of that morning. We had called ahead to say we wanted a large tree and they were expecting us. They took us into the forest, with a chainsaw no less, and had us pick a LARGE tree that was already slated to come down (forestry reasons..) that we would then cut the top off of to our exact specifications. We hemmed. We hawed. Athena went off gallivanting into the wilderness. We looked at so many trees that I started to get dizzy from angling my neck high.

We all have.. funny things about us. Like me. Back in my dating days I remember talking with a group of male and female friends over ice cream about our “shallow dealbreakers” in finding a partner. I didn’t really have any specific physical ones, but I said I might go one date with, but not marry, someone who voted for a different political party than me. (oh, how innocent I was back then) And I also said I would consider dating but would never marry a man who didn’t dress up for Halloween for his whole life. Well, funny about that because I married a man who dresses up to the nines on Halloween and also has no qualms about 18 foot Christmas trees! In fact, he took a video of our tree falling! Behemoth 2.

Then we had the absolute fun of getting it home! And it really was fun. I’m not kidding. The woman who rang us up is our neighbor’s sister. And people were high-fiving us about our tree. They had twine for us and then our minivan took the brunt.

I loved seeing the faces of other drivers and passengers who saw us on the highway.

Then we got home and the real fun started. We didn’t have a ladder high enough for the lights. We usually did them from the balcony but this tree was too high and needed to be tied to the wall! Cassidy said he couldn’t have done it without me, but to be honest, we couldn’t have done it without some sort of strange magic. Miraculously, we all survived unharmed.

It was also miraculous that we had our contractor’s giant ladder to borrow.

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

It’s hard to tell but it’s a Death Star tree topper that turns colors and plays Star Wars music.

Then came hours and hours of decorating. All is worth it, though. That feeling I get when I watch a so-bad-it’s-good holiday movie on the couch under twinkling lights? That’s the stuff! Although I wish the cat would stop drinking tree water!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “The holiday season is coming, and..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

We know the answer but which one do you think looks bigger? Behemoth 1 or 2.

Miss Me, Miss Me, Now You Gotta Kiss Me

I have to confess – I have no direction with this post.

Generally they write me or I write them, all in the nick of time. I’m going to start with my 7th grade boyfriend, Chris. I think we’re Facebook friends but I don’t think he reads my blog, but I know I shouldn’t say half of what there is to say about him. He was, for lack of a better term, a dreamboat. And I don’t even mean that in a shallow way, although if you like blonde quarterbacks with intelligent blue eyes, he would have been the guy for you! That said, this was more of an inner thing.

He said pretty amazing things for a 12-year-old. He said he loved Halloween for its atmosphere. Yeah, me too.

He also said, and keep in mind this was a 12-year-old boy from New Jersey, “I don’t know why guys our age act afraid of guys they perceive as gay, as if they’re going to get hit on. It’s like, don’t flatter yourself. Why would he want YOU? Especially if you act like such a jerk.” Seriously. Those were his thoughts in 7th grade! ohmygod, why did we break up? If you must know, he had his friend Bobby break up with me in the school cafeteria. I have no idea why? It was middle school. I’m super odd, as you may know. I take rejection and heartbreak quite badly, and I also don’t experience them as often as the alternative. I can be pretty fierce when I want something, but that’s only when I’m pretty sure I can have it. You know?

(Like a rainbow flag costume for Halloween 2017)

So that’s the direction I took. Only to tell you that I loved what Chris said – about the atmosphere of Halloween. When I was a kid, I lived on a mountain. We attacked trick-or-treating in groups of ones and twos and severals. Groups of siblings and/or friends. Costumes and pillowcases. No pumpkin buckets for us. We were on missions to get as much candy as humanly possible. It was spread out, though – the whole thing like a marathon. Easily a 5K with all that candy sprinting. You could see other people, but they’d be costumed blurs on mountain roads. We had a strict 8pm curfew. Scarlet asked me last night what I was for Halloween when I was her age. “A California Raisin!” I said. She could not stop laughing. I wish I had the picture to prove it, because it was a real thing back then. Mom, do you have it somewhere? It was magical. I have this:

As you can see, some things never change:

Unless you’re talking about getting dumped in the school cafeteria. That only happened one time, and it wasn’t as bad as a Post-It Note left on a computer screen, but that is only a fictional story to tell. As deep as Chris was, I think I got over him in a day because I was 13 and although I was capable of intense feelings back then, I took a break from them in middle school because my eye was only on ONE prize. And you know what? He kissed me. It happened 24 years later, but he kissed me.

(It was Tim Curry. He kissed my hand. I haven’t washed it since..kidding!)

And how priceless is that?

I went off track again, so I’m steering myself back onto the Halloween train. When I was a kid watching Halloween movies, it was all about the atmosphere, yes, but there was that certain something at night. It was trick-or-treating in CROWDS of amazingly dressed people. I thought that only happened in movies, like Hocus Pocus. Bumping shoulders with Frankenstein. Standing in line for candy. I had a charmingly interesting childhood, but I didn’t have that. Until now. In Northampton.

It’s all a wonderful blur. The crowded streets of downtown Northampton trick-or-treating. Then downtown Florence for the Rag Shag Parade. Walking with friends, looking for friends, laughing with friends. Then there’s the house trick-or-treating – right out of a movie. It’s amazing how many amazing people I see, and how I see so many strangers every year. Will I ever know everyone in this city? Probably not, and that’s ok. So much to unfold and discover – like a great book that’s still being written. We’re writing it, and I think we’re doing a good job. I remember every face I saw, masked or not. I always will.

What’s priceless about Halloween is that feeling and that magic and that atmosphere. It’s bumping shoulders with Frankenstein, and lining up for candy. It’s running into smiling friends and clients, and friend clients. Client friends? Was it the chicken or the egg? What’s priceless about Halloween are the memories – still strong after 30+ years – and the fact that I get to help build them for two littles. It’s the fact that I said to my kids, “All of this? Not every dad becomes Iron Man for a day and not every place on earth is this charmed. So you better love it! And give me some of your Snickers bars!”

It’s only one night. Four costumes and a lot of preparation. More money than I care to admit, and just as much time too.

But..priceless.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “What’s priceless about..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

P.S. From about 2nd grade until 10th grade, it was all about boys/men named Tim or Chris. I have about three of each. Some kissed me and some missed me, but hey, that’s life. As long as I never get dumped in the school cafeteria again.

How was your Halloween?