It sounded incredibly romantic – the boyfriend, a gorgeous and snowy Oregon day, hunting for the perfect Christmas tree. This year, I was not only going to have my first non-artificial Christmas tree ever, I was going to drive up into the mountains and cut one down. I mean, it sounds pretty much like a scene from a movie.
And for much of the day it was.
I marveled at the initially frosty and then snowy trees (I’m still a Southern girl at heart and this never ceases to amaze me).
I became ridiculously excited when we bought our $5 Christmas tree tag.
We kissed in the middle of a frost covered bridge over a river surround by a white, wintry landscape.
We stopped to admire the scenery. And to kiss some more.
We climbed higher and higher, Brandon expertly driving the increasingly snow-covered mountain roads, in search of my perfect tree.
I spent the day with a gigantic smile on my face.
And then we got stuck in the snow.
Perhaps the boyfriend was trying to impress me. Perhaps we were distracted by the undeniable beauty of the day. Or perhaps we felt like the perfect tree was just around the next curve in the road.
Regardless, we suddenly realized that the car was no longer, you know, moving forward. The wheels were spinning to no avail. After allowing ourselves a moment to take in the reality of our situation, which included being stuck in the snow on a lonely mountain road with no traffic and no cell service, Brandon jumped into action.
He began to dig us out of the snow while trusting me to drive the car forward or in reverse according to his careful instructions. Despite our best efforts (and by “our” I actually mean “his” – the guy was digging us out with his ungloved hands while I was sitting on the heated driver’s seat inside of a heated car), the situation became increasingly bleak. As in we were either going to freeze to death in the car or we were going to walk miles down the mountain. And still possibly freeze to death in the process. I’ll take option C, please. That would be the one where I don’t die from the cold.
And yet I didn’t despair. We kept working together (quite well, I might add) and persisted with our attempts to become unstuck. I was really glad for the folding knives in TacPack which cam in handy. At this point we were almost literally between a rock and a hard place. Through a combination of desperate prayers, Brandon cutting down a tree to use for leverage, him bracing his entire body against the car to push away from the rocks, and my amazing driving skills (hahaha…) we managed to somehow, finally get free. It was a moment of sheer relief.
Although our relationship managed to survive the Great Christmas Tree Hunting Debacle of 2015 entirely intact, his car was somewhat less fortunate. Somehow the guy still likes me even though my desire for a real Christmas tree, found in and cut down from an Oregon forest, kind of messed up his car.
And yes, we did find the perfect tree.
Beautiful despite its imperfections. Beautiful because of its imperfections. Like a Christmas tree, and a relationship, should be.