It feels wonderful for Wyoming to extend her reach in a positive way. This year, we won't be known for the brutal murder of a gay man, or a vice president who doesn't know how to aim a shotgun (at anything other than his friend's face, anyway). This year, we'll be known for the 87 year-old, 67-foot tall Engelmann spruce that will grace the west front lawn of our Nation's Capitol next month. This year, Washington D.C. won't seem such a far stretch from the least populated state in the nation. That's right. It's the Capitol Christmas Tree and it was cut from our backyard.
My man has a little something to do with this whole tree project, so Juniper and I went into town to see The Tree before it embarks on its cross-country journey. Well, holy cow. I guess everyone in town decided to do the same.
It was all very Norman Rockwellian what with everyone bringing their children and gathering in the town square on an unseasonably balmy November afternoon.
It was standing-room-only except where parade horses left some apples. Yes, even in a western town folks will avoid the big piles.
Juniper was mesmerized by all the people and children and horses and dogs. Not sure if she even noticed the tree.
When it was time for The Tree to head to the fairgrounds where its branches would be tied down, tamed and contained in a cargo box, a yappity-yipping Iditarod sled-dog team pulled up the rear and Juniper got so excited pointing and saying, Doh, doh doh!
:: :: ::
:: Just when I was starting to think that I don't get to have adult conversations or adult thoughts anymore and that I am oh-so-out-of-touch, this last week has been chucky-jam full of political conversations with mostly strangers. My hairdresser, my life insurance salesman, the guy that brings his kid to Juniper's swimming lessons. My hairdresser: talking about what a great job she thinks Obama is doing despite everyone being all poo-poo about him. My insurance salesman: pointing out how right now, tax rates for the wealthiest Americans are at historical all-time lows. The guy in our swim lessons? Turns out he's a policy advisor for the Tea Party Patriots (apparently different from Sarah Palin's Tea Party Express--see? learn something everyday) and just returned home after a stint in Washington D.C.
So today--between dunking our kids underwater--I mentioned to the Tea Party Policy Advisor dude about what the Insurance dude said about taxes being at an all-time low and he was all, Yeah, but that's going to change in January. And then I got to thinking about this Tea Party Policy Advisor dude and what I know about him: he is a pretty chill guy and a great father. Also, he has three kids, his wife stays home with the kids but also has a nanny for 15 hours a week plus a housekeeper for 15 hours a week plus he owns a home in Jackson Hole (re: average home price ~750K) plus a second home in Arizona where they spend 6 weeks of the year plus they send their school-age children to a private school. Hmmm. I think he might be worried about his taxes increasing in January. Am I sweating bullets for him? Hell no. That said, he is still a pretty chill guy and a great father.
:: I heard from my husband tonight--(who I won't see again until December, so yeah, I'm single-mom'in it). He is currently zig-zagging across Wyoming with The Tree and I am really quite astounded at how popular that 87-year-old spruce is, even when she's all boxed up. At every stop there is some whoop-la: fireworks and singing and mobs of school children. The Tree is too long and wide for her driver to make regular turns safely, so she gets a police-escort in every town. Other than those who are already employed as public servants, the Capitol Christmas Tree is entirely funded by donations and volunteers. The best part? The volunteer truck driver (who, bless his heart, is super excited to play such a leading role) is from Georgia and has never driven on snow or ice.
:: At the end of the month Juniper and I will be joining our better half in Washington D.C. and I have to admit: I feel all warm and fuzzy with this Wyoming-U.S. Capitol connection. I feel proud. And I can't help but think about the underlying political colors: Wyoming an unwavering blood-red state, the top seat at the Capitol inhabited by cool blue. And in the purple overlap there is simply, a tree.
Oh yeah, and one hell of a sunset.