Skip to content

A Christmas Tree Adventure

The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough of is love.  ~Henry Miller

Pap at Christmas 1970s Aunt Heather Piper
My Pap at Christmas. c. 1970s

This past weekend was another family adventure.  Saturday was the last day of hunting, so I took off work Friday to join Dad both days.  I could tell that made the old man’s day.  He was happy to have me tag along.

Sometimes when Dad and I are sitting together in a tree stand, Kyle comes up in conversation.  Usually it consists of, “If Kyle was here” or “Remember when Kyle did this or that?”  We both miss hunting with him in the worst way.  Kyle really made the season fun.  Maybe one day he’ll rejoin us before Dad get’s too old.
While hunting on Friday, Dad mentioned we were getting Kyle on Saturday, as well as the Christmas tree.  I was surprised.  It wasn’t that long ago we were hanging out for Thanksgiving.  The idea of getting to see Kyle again without extended periods of time passing was a Christmas miracle.  Kyle usually spaces his appearances months apart, unless it’s a Holiday.  So here we were.
By the time Dad and I got out of the woods and back to his house on Saturday, Kyle was there.  Nothing brightens my day like seeing our teenager.  We had a lovely evening of relaxing and movie watching.
On a side note, I always ask Kyle if he wants to join me for church.  I want him to know the invitation is always open and I’m hoping one day he’ll surprise me.  Kyle politely turned me down, but I’m still going to keep trying.  I even offered to go to a later mass.  No dice.  Maybe next time.
Lord Fluffington 2017 Aunt Heather Piper
Lord Fluffington a.k.a. the Nugget in all his royal glory 2017

Right after church, I stopped by my parents to get the skinny on the events of the day.  Dad was already on the move and got a groggy teenager up and semi dressed.  It was during this time I was informed we had a situation.  What kind of situation?

Evidently, Kyle fell asleep the night prior on the couch, which I specifically asked him not to.  He was to retire to his own bed.  Problem number one.  My cat, Lord Fluffington, who was at the house, supposedly knocked Kyle’s glasses off the back of the couch.  His glasses should have been placed on an end table or his night stand if he would have gone to bed as instructed.  Problem number two.  The glasses rolled off the back of the couch onto the cushion, which wouldn’t have been tragic, except Kyle rolled over on them while sleeping and bent the frame and the screw came out, releasing the arm.  Problem number three.  Although, if that was the worst part of our Christmas then we were doing alright.
Using a paperclip and needle nose pliers we bent the frames back and attached the arm temporarily.  During this time, I was informed that I had to take Kyle to the mall to get his glasses fixed.  No problem.
First things first, we needed to get a tree.  Me, Dad and Kyle piled in the truck and headed out to retrieve the Piper family Christmas tree.  For some odd reason, Dad didn’t let Kyle drive there, but he let him drive home with a pine tree in the back.  Makes no sense, but that’s how the story rolled.
While on our way, Kyle kept teasing Dad about his driving.  Kyle was cracking himself up and in tern, I was finding pure amusement with Kyle’s instigating.  Sometimes I forget how much he’s like me.
Kyle:  “The speed limit is 35 mph Pap.”
Dad:  Rolled his eyes
Me:  “Oh snap he told you old man.”
Kyle:  Laughing said, “That wasn’t a proper stop.  You should have stopped for three full seconds.”
Dad:  At the next stop sign, Dad hit the breaks and sat for about a minute with an ornery grin on his face.
Kyle:  Sporting the same ornery grin, “Okay Pap that’s good you can go. It only needs to be three seconds”. Like Kyle was instructing Dad on driving.
Me:  LOL
Heather New York Hunting 11-2017 Aunt Heather Piper
Me hunting in New York with Dad. 11/2017

On the return trip, Kyle got his Pappy back.  When approaching a stop sign, Kyle hit the brakes hard and sat for a minute.  He was totally cracking himself up.  Dad was just grinning.  It’s been a while since we three hung out together.  It was a simple car ride, but one to last me a lifetime.

Once we got home, Dad fired up the chainsaw to trim the trunk and the lower branches.  Kyle gave his Pap a hand.
Kyle helped setup the tree and assisted in decorating.  I used the term “assisted” lightly.  Typical Kyle, he assumed the role of a manager and dictated what needed to happen as opposed to doing the actual work.  I personally didn’t care, he was there and I was happy.
Funny story.  Dad went out in the garage to grab the ratchet to bolt the tree trunk in.  Kyle dragged the tree in the living-room and was holding it upright waiting for Pap.  I was getting the decorations and the lights out.  Not paying attention to how long Kyle was standing there holding the tree, he finally said to me, “Aunt Heather where’s Pap?”  I started to laugh because it just hit me.  “I bet he got side tracked with the deer meat hanging.”
To find answers, I made my way to the garage to witness Dad cutting steaks for dinner.  Yep, deer season consumes that man’s mind.
After the tree was secured, I switched gears to embellish Ryan’s Christmas wreath for the cemetery.  Before heading to the mall to get Kyle’s glasses fixed, I thought it would be a good time to swing by the cemetery to decorate the headstone, since I had Kyle and before the roads got bad on the ridge.
Another funny story.  Naturally, Kyle jumped in the drivers seat, which I’m all for more practice but not being sidetracked.  Kyle was in the car messing with the radio before I got there.  Once I seat belted myself in, Kyle put the car in reverse to back out of the driveway.  Almost instantly, he said, “Something’s wrong.  It’s really hard to steer.”  I looked at him in disbelieve until I pulled on the steering wheel.  It was!   I had no idea what was wrong but I thought it must be the power steering.  My cousin Chucky who’s also my mechanic was on the way to the cemetery.  Informing Kyle of the added stop we needed to make, Kyle barely paid attention before loosing sight of the driveway.  He began to descend down over the bank before stopping the car.  (Which actually a piece of wood Dad cut got wedged behind the wheel to bring us to a stop)
Like a seasoned driver, Kyle put the car in drive to straighten it out, except he found he couldn’t go forward.  What the heck?  He said, “Aunt Heather, it won’t go forward.”  I was dumbfounded.  What was going on with my car?
Dad and Kyle c. 2004 Gutchess tour Aunt Heather Piper
Dad & his sidekick, Kyle touring the Latrobe Gutchess plant. c. 2004

Finally, I had Kyle put the car in park and get out.  I walked around, sat in the driver’s seat, and thought, let’s start again.  I turned the ignition completely off and turned it over again.  Instantly, Kyle’s lightbulb came on as he realized when he turned the radio on but he forgot to do the same with the engine.  We both laughed so hard.  The car was never on!  We were basically drifting in neutral.  That became the joke of the day.  Step 1: Turn on the car.

Kyle drove us to the cemetery on the ridge and to the mall.  He did a good job.
LensCrafters ultimately replaced Kyle’s frames, which were “looking a bit rough” as the lady pointed out.  He’s a teenager, what would one expect?  We were fortunate they had the same frames on hand.
Kyle can take any opportunity and make it work for him.  The eyeglass place was right across from Auntie Anne’s, his pretzel heaven.  He made sure we picked up pretzels for the family before exiting.  Whatever makes my little man happy.  He always did love getting a pretzel when I’d take him to the mall.  How could I refuse tradition?  Plus, it’s been ages since I was there with him.
Once the tree was all decorated, we used the remainder of Sunday to relax, before I took Kyle back.  That’s the hard part about spending time with Kyle, he leaves.  I just love him to pieces.  I’m glad he still participates in Christmas traditions with us.
Published inChurchCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyMilestoneObservation & ImaginationPatience

Be First to Comment

%d bloggers like this: