Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 11

MILL CREEK STORIES
Perfection was not likely to be achieved considering
we were chopping down scrub cedars in a cow pasture.
Cedar trees that grow through a barbed-wire fence tend
not to be perfectly symmetrical. We had very little chance
of fulfilling my mother's Currier and Ives holiday dream,
and yet she was constant in her belief that it could be
done.
To be honest, we often spent more time checking our
rabbit traps and trying to shoo skunks out of them without getting sprayed than actually searching for the prettiest tree. Most years, we'd get cold and tired, opting to
chop down a cedar near the pick-up truck. Proximity to
our parking spot was as much a factor in tree selection as
any other criteria, and when you've been tramping in the
cold for several hours and can't feel your nose, it makes as
much sense as other evergreen qualities.
Here's a truth about Christmas trees. They look entirely different in the living room than they did out in the
field. What looked majestic in the great outdoors morphs
into a lopsided bush, barely fit for birds to nest in, once
it crosses the threshold into the house. Every year, Mama
would list off all the ways the tree was disappointingly
inadequate. One year, I'd had enough. One year, I did
the unthinkable.
I must have been about eight years old. I pulled off my
wet mittens and my plaid jacket and told my mother that

if she didn't like the tree, she could just take the hatchet
and go get another one all by herself. I was hotter than
fish grease, mad down to my bones. I marched to my
room, slammed my door, and waited for the storm of
punishment that should arrive in less than a minute. But
it didn't. I heard nothing. Then I heard Daddy say, "Well,
I guess she told you."
I sat in my room for hours, waiting for the shoe to
drop. Finally, hunger made me brave the consequences
and I tip-toed out into the hall. The misshapen cedar had
been decorated and it was stunning. You can cover a lot
of flaws with tinsel and lights, and this little tree sparkled
like it was made of diamonds. It looked perfect to me. My
parents never said one word on the topic. This little cedar
will stand forever in my memory as the most breathtaking Christmas tree ever. Mama had been right, of course.
Unadorned, it was crooked, sparse and more than a little
bit ugly. But with some attention and some love, it became everything a Christmas tree could ever hope to be.
From my house here on Mill Creek to yours, best
wishes for a beautiful, bountiful holiday season. Appreciate the warmth and kindness shown so freely this time of
year. If you know of someone who might be feeling like
a stubby cow-pasture cedar in a world of elegant Frasier
firs, please send some love in that direction. If it can work
for a Christmas tree, it just might work for people, too. 

THE FOLK SCHOOL
CHANGES YOU.

Engaging hands and hearts since 1925. Come enjoy making crafts and
good friends on 300 natural, scenic acres in western North Carolina.

JOHN C. CAMPBELL FOLK SCHOOL
folkschool.org
BRASSTOWN

1-800-FOLK-SCH
NORTH CAROLINA

November/December 2016 11


http://www.folkschool.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 51
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 55
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 61
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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