We were lucky in Saint John to have neighbours in the Christmas Tree business. We only ever wanted a 4-foot tree, and they wouldn't hear of taking any money for it. It was a pretty sweet deal.
Nice as our new Sydney neighbours are, none are in the x-mas tree cartel. We decided to buy one from the guys in the Sobey's parking lot. We don't have a car, so Sunday night we trekked over in the snow with our little, red wagon.
The way there was painful. It was cold. It was much slipperier than we thought. The kids were cranky. The wagon was noisy. I'm pretty sure Erin was with me in wondering why it is we always seem to do things the hard way.
Since we were there anyway, Erin popped in the store to pick up some groceries. Henry and I wandered the mall, him in a foul mood. We hadn't eaten supper, and none was waiting for us at home. What started as a quick trip out was turning into a long, grumpy, hungry journey.
I think Erin was the one who suggested we stop at a restaurant. We are not restaurant people. They're always more trouble than they're worth. There was a crappy place at the mall, and we needed to stop.
It was awesome.
Erin had an omlette. Henry had a the kids' fish platter. Jane gnawed on a grilled cheese sandwich. I had chowder. It was all just ok.
We sat by the fish tank. The kids laughed and played. Erin and I actually got to speak with each other over a meal. There were other young families there, and we were all in it together. The hot chocolate was good too.
After, we bundled up our kiddies and headed to the parking lot in search of a tree. The gnarly old guy tending the lot found us a Charlie Brown special for 15 bucks that just barely fit in the wagon.
The trip home was so much better. Our now-fed kids were excited to have a tree. It was frigid, but a soft snow fell around us in the windless night. A few blocks from home, Henry asked if I would carry him the rest of the way. I told him stories and sang a few songs.
We gave into the night, and the night gave it back to us. A lovely compromise for two people who tend to do things the hard way.