I love winter. Perhaps one of the main reasons I enjoy the season are the traditions that come with it. Picking out the Christmas Tree is no exception…

Now we venture to “tree farms” at the nearest intersection to find the most decent tree that fits a preconceived price that might have been formed in one’s mind on the way to the lot. Not so much when I was younger.

When I was little my family journeyed to the mountains in search of the most perfect tree. The day after Thanksgiving we would bundle up and head to Miramonte to visit the Shipman’s Tree Farm. Up the hill we’d begin and would split up and out on the mountain terrain until Mom would announce she’d found the tree. We would saw the tree down, our decent down the hill would commence and soon after we’d begin the drive back down the mountain. But wait. Why am I reminiscing about Christmas in July? Background knowledge my friends.

Somewhere between purchasing the tree and piling into our 1980’s Bronco for the eventful drive home would always be a quick stop to see the geese. I was fascinated with the pet geese Mrs. Shipman kept behind a chicken wire fence. My hands were the perfect fit to squeeze between the tines and despite the warnings I’m sure I received a bite once or twice. I’m not sure exactly why I was so fascinated, but I’m pretty sure that was my main reason I looked forward to the journey to Miramonte.

At the home of our fabulous former life group’s hosts is a goose. And once again I return to the 5 year old wonder of emotions and giddiness at harassing innocently peering through the fence at the neighbor’s goose. Now goosey did not become near as entertaining until she decided to hiss at me through the fence as I walk by. Somehow she must have known about my fascination. I would like to think she’s fondly greeting me… somehow I’m not quite sure that’s the case.

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