While traveling down to visit my family for Thanksgiving, I stopped for gas, a muffin, and a cup of coffee. I wasn’t even out of the state yet, my knee was aching, and I’d already spent more than an hour slipping around in icy, rainy, snowy muck on the highway. The Christmas music had long faded and the glimmer of Portland radio was still a ways away.
When in doubt, muffin.
Next to the gas station, I saw this sign. The Haines U-Cut Noble Fir Farm. Oh, if only it were true! I want to be the Noble Fir Farm Haines, the one who tucks faded jeans into huge rubber boots while she trims and shapes the nobles, readying her farm for an influx of holiday tree-cutters the day after Thanksgiving.
If it were my tree farm, there would be a gift shop with canned, homemade cranberry sauce and jam in cute jars, and little owls on all the signs. Barley and Dougal would have christened all the trees on the farm, giving them each at least one good wee. I’d make wreaths and garlands, and sell the woodchips. And maybe some pumpkin bread.
But, if I had a tree farm, why would I stop at trees? I’d finally have my highland cow, my guinea rooster, and my sheep named Travis. Maybe I’d even have a pig. And a goat. It’s a good dream.
I always get moony-eyed this time of year. I wish for big things and different lives, and feel sad for the different lives I’ve had and lost, and wish I could get back. Sometimes, the holidays just make me feel old and far away. I wonder if the Noble Fir Farm Haines ever feels that way. I like to imagine she doesn’t. I like to imagine she’s exactly where she wants to be…and that she’s eating a muffin.