Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Favorite Valerie Bowen

Hey everyone!  I am fortunate to have been asked to host some cool new indie friends and I suggested the theme of telling about the best or funniest or most memorable holiday they can remember.  First one to respond with an absolutely hilarious post is Valerie Bowen.  If she writes her thrillers as good as this post, she can count on at least one new fan.  Please enjoy a new indie!

My favorite Valerie Bowen

Every holiday holds a special place in my heart, and Christmas is no exception. One of my favorites has to be the first Christmas after my divorce. My children were ages sixteen and five.

The kids wanted a real Christmas tree (something they had been used to) so we gathered in the car, arranged for a friend of mine to meet us at the tree farm. My friend has one daughter; she was three at the time, so we can't really blame this comical fiasco on her. Once arriving at the farm, we let the children lead us around while they searched for the 'perfect tree'. Now my daughter and my friend both have problems with size and what a reasonable tree size should be. Every tree my daughter chose was extremely large. The image in her mind of the best tree couldn't be altered. I knew the moment she spied the massive tree, I was in for a heap of serious trouble. I swear she was like Chevy Chase in the movie 'Christmas Vacation'. Her eyes lit up and a huge smile crossed her face. I knew we were ending the monstrosity's life.

After she convinced my son it was the best tree ever, they proceeded to saw away at the trunk. At this point in the game I wasn't paying attention to my friend and her tree choice, which incidentally was the same size as my daughter's tree. As they continued, tirelessly, to chop down this beast I stood on the side lines watching. All the while I thought “How in the hell is that tree going to fit in our house?”

Once the huge beast was lying on the ground we had to drag if from the woods and get it prepared for the nine mile trip home. Standing at the baler to get the tree wrapped, I turned and noticed my friend’s tree was nearly the same size. Just to give you an image on size, I’m 5’-5” and the tree, lying down, was almost that height. The man came to prepare the tree. He took one look and started laughing…I know rude right? The tree was so massive he had to call over a few friends to help him place it on the bailing machine. At this point the man scowled. “Ma’am, this tree is too big for the baler. I’m afraid all we can do for you is to tie the branches with twine before we secure it to the car.” I smiled and nodded.

Once the two trees had been tied (my friend had the same dilemma with her tree), four men approached us (they were the men that were responsible to “secure” the trees to the roof of the cars). Right now is probably where I should mention I was driving a Toyota Camry and my friend drove a station wagon. After attempting to place my tree on top of my car, it was decided since I had the smaller vehicle and my friend had the smaller tree, her’s would be tied to the roof of my car…sounds reasonable…right? Let me tell you, both the cars looked like we were the Grinch after he had stolen everything and heaped it on his sleigh…the trees made our vehicles look like matchbox cars with great redwoods strapped to the top.

After the trees had been secured to the cars, we ventured out of the tree farms parking lot heading home. My daughter burst out laughing as she watched her precious tree being carried by another vehicle. No lie, as God as my witness, I prayed the monstrosity would fall off the car and roll into the ditch, (that little prayer went unanswered). After delivering and shoving my friend’s tree into her house, she followed me to my house and we rolled the beast off her car.

I had a small cape at the time. I looked at the door then at the tree and decided it was far to large to fit through the three foot doorway. We hopped off branches and finally was able to wrestle the tree into the house. I knew the beast was far taller than the ceilings would allow, but my daughter insisted it wasn’t. After literally shaving off inches of  the tree trunk and hammering on the stand (the ring was too small), we tried to stand the tree on the corner (note, the tree is still tied at this point)…it was still too tall. Bright idea number two, my daughter called her boyfriend to come assist us with the task of standing the tree…thankfully he brought his father to help.
Upon their arrival I noticed the older man was carrying a chainsaw. “Really.” I thought. “What the hell kind of people use a chainsaw to put up a Christmas tree?”  To answer that question I’m going to direct your attention back to the above mentioned movie. As soon as they entered the house, the chainsaw came to life and they cut off two feet from the tree’s base. The living room was full of sawdust and pine needles. Once the ring, we had hammered onto the tree, was removed, the man proceeded to place it on the tree trunk…at this point the man started laughing uncontrollably. Stupid me had to ask, “What’s so funny?” He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and replied, “There are two trees here.” I nearly lost it. I laughed so hard I thought I would pee my pants.

After separating the conjoined twins, my kids had the look of shock on their faces. The once full, round tree was flat on one side. We placed the flat side against the wall and proceeded to decorate the half tree that took up more than half the living room.

I hope you enjoyed my little family memory as much as we enjoy the story to this day.

And Valerie hopes you might enjoy one of her books too, The Drifter, available on Amazon at:

She would love to hear from you and make a new friend as well.  Her links are as follows:

To read the available chapters for all my books: and

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