Ostensibly, we went up at Kalico nursery in Rosendale to buy a Christmas tree. But I knew my wife’s real agenda was to look at paving stones. I’d swung by see about getting her some a week back, but they had been closed. A few dozen trees to choose from, most of them seemed small. Soon we had the young attendant there holding up one Colorado Blue Spruce for us and then another. He spun it. We walked around and imagined it in our living room. This one then. It’ll do.
The guy was disarmingly helpful, wrapping the tree up and tying it up on our car roof. I noticed the sign, still on the tree which suggested that not long ago it had been for sale as a tree to buy for planting. I thought of all the times we’d bought trees in China, always complete with roots, and dirt and a planter. They’d come driving over in a sanlunchi and it would take four guys to carry it in.
I went in to pay and my wife went up to look at the piles of paving stones they have for sale, along the driveway down. Inside I had to wait for a woman who wanted to confirm how best to care for a small plant she was buying. Eventually when it was my turn, I told the lady what an asset she had in the young guy who helped us. How hard it must be to find good talent, someone who actually instinctively provides good service. I got some change from her so I could tip him.
The Mrs. wasn’t sure how many stones to get. A full pallet was about four-hundred-dollars. I suggested I get her ten of the big field stones and call it a two-hundred dollar Christmas present. The young guy, whose name I knew at the time, helped us lift them and place them carefully in the back of the SUV. And we thanked him and paid again and we drove off with our tree on top and about five hundred pounds of stones in the back, which made the car seem very, back-heavy. Back home we dug out the old tree stand, and decided on a place for this year’s tree. The stones are piled out there on the drive way.