Not just any ol’ pine tree

Oh, how my aging noodle can fly into fits of remembrance at the oddest times, doing the most seemingly insignificant chores.

It happened to me today as my bride and I were running errands.

We stopped at the neighborhood grocery store. We walked past a display of table-top Norfolk pines. She said she needed something to make her “feel better,” as she had been under the weather the past few days.

My mind immediately kicked back 25 years to the day we closed on the house we just had built in Amarillo. The closing date was actually Dec. 22, 1996, which was the day we began moving in. We obtained a rental truck and emptied the storage unit where we had kept most of our belongings for nearly two years.

One of the items we had kept close to us was a potted Norfolk pine we had moved with us from Beaumont. As we began assembling the possessions in our new home, we found a stash of Christmas decorations. The tree we used? The Norfolk pine. It stood about 4 feet tall; its branches were full and quite wide. It was able to hold plenty of lights and a few ornaments.

So … we decked out the tree with lights and a few of our favorite keepsake ornaments.

We had dozens of boxes strewn about our home, containing unpacked possessions. None of that mattered. What mattered to us was that we were able to celebrate Christmas with a tree, a few gifts thrown around its base and with each other all gathered around looking proudly at the home we had watched built from the ground up.

That’s what I remember at this moment as I look at the tiny version of our first Christmas tree in the house we called home for more than two decades.

I’ll get back to more serious musings … eventually. Today, I am full of The Spirit.