Life is a Bowl of Cherries

Life is a Bowl of Cherries

Before reading this, if you have any cherries available grab a few. If you don’t have any available, grab a few from the painting above and enjoy their succulence virtually. Enjoy my Christmas Tree Drama…

Every year it is tradition for me to buy a real Christmas Tree since I’ve lived most of my adult life away from family and many times was unable to visit them during the holidays.  I am home for the holidays since I moved back earlier this year to care for my mother (she’s now in a nursing home).

The other day, I bought a little tree (5.5 ft) from a local Kiwanis group. The tree was full and I only had to trim a few scraggly branches from the bottom. It would look perfect in the spot I selected in the living room. With my strong tree stand in storage and too far in the back to dig out, I bought a traditional stand that I figured would be fine for this small tree.

I spent hours meticulously decorating — always making Christmas special in my home to create a great deal of warmth and tradition. First there were the white lights. Next came the beautiful floral garland I purchased years ago in rich colors of deep purple, olive green, ivory and merlot symbolic of vineyards. Along with the garland, I added the small cluster of grapes bought from a craft store I used as ornaments strategically placed on the tree. All the other delicate ornaments were added including the brushed gold beads that look more like a woman’s jewels.

All was well! I stood proud looking at the finished tree after placing Santa in his dark red velvet suit on top and hanging the pillow-like Victorian hearts made from elegant fabric and gold metallic ribbon. I plugged in the lights and with holiday music in the background, I continued on decorating the rest of the room.

A couple of hours went by and occasionally, I’d peak in at the tree and smile. Later that day, I was in the kitchen feeding Serena (my cat) when I heard a thud. Running down the hall and into the living room, the little tree was laying on its side. Poor thing! Quickly, I ran over to pick it back up before anything else happened.

Somehow, for some reason, the tree would not stand back up right. Holding its center by one hand and reaching underneath with the other while needles poked me in the face, I yanked hard turning the bolts trying desperately to tighten the stand around the tree. Aggghhh, it wasn’t working. Plan B — lay the tree gently on its side and try like heck to do it this way. Now, the bolts wouldn’t align properly with the tree so it would be even. In fact, one bolt missed touching the tree by at least two inches. How could that be? It had been just fine a few hours ago.

 No sweat! I grabbed a pair of pliers (the dandy handy woman I am) and I bent and pushed, bent and pushed until that darn bolt touched the tree. Just when I thought I fixed it, I stood it up and voila! it stood there looking brilliant again with only a touch of needles lost on the floor. As I walked away, BOOM! Down went the tree and only this time everything went everywhere literally! How could that be? It had fallen awhile ago so gracefully without any real loss.

It was over! No matter what I tried the tree stand wasn’t budging and was taking its own stand!

Madder than a hornet at this point, no tree stand was beating me! I started pulling off the ornaments and garland. The lights? Oh my God, the lights got all tangled up and as I was straightening them — I fell on top of the tree and everything went everywhere with even more mess. Now, my whole living room was covered in pine needles and decorations all over the floor. The cat had long ran into the bedroom hiding under the bed — she knew this wasn’t good!

Frankly, I found myself cussing like a sailor! There was nothing refined about me at that moment! I yanked that tree stand completely off the tree and threw it out the front door. Next came the tree! That’s right! I picked up that little Chrismas tree and hurled it into the front yard, slammed the door yelling at the tree and tree stand, “Bah Humbug! I’m threw with the both of you!”

After calming myself down and getting my pulse back to normal, I went to the local Walmart and found myself a BIG sturdy tree stand — one that looks like a plastic tub that the tree stands in with BIG bolts! Took it home, cleaned up the living room mess, brought the tree back in (the other tree stand went immediately into the trash), redecorated the tree (surprisingly it still turned out beautiful), and sat down to laugh!

I grabbed my laptop and decided to paint for awhile to steady my center again. I opened a bowl I had been painting over the past few weeks for my still life collection. While painting, I found myself drawing little circles on top of the existing art. Circles that looked like cherries to me. I’m sure the circles were more symbolic to my psyche that was probably doing this repetitive, simple universal symbol to bring some sanity back to my state of being. Though it appeared on the surface I had returned to normalcy, my psyche wasn’t finished processing the whole thing.

During the drawing of cirlces, I stopped and began painting the cherries. It felt good! No — it felt amazingly comforting! That’s when the real laughing occurred! I couldn’t stop laughing as I painted the bowl full of cherries as a reminder that life just “is” — symbolic wouldn’t you say?

One more thing — Oh my, I went outside this morning and couldn’t help notice that some of the outside lights have fallen due to harsh winds. Dare I get a ladder and try to attach them again?


~ by Genece Hamby on December 6, 2007.

13 Responses to “Life is a Bowl of Cherries”

  1. That is one gorgeous bowl of cherries, Genece, thanks for making our lives look so delicious!

  2. I love the cherries. And with my vivid imagination was doubled over seeing you in my mind’s eye sprawled across your tree.

    Don’t you dare get up on that ladder…call a neighbor or a friend to help.

    By the way, has the cat come out from under the bed?


  3. The cherries look good enough to eat, Genece. And your story is laugh-out-loud funny. Good thing you have a good sense of humor! And all things considered, you may not want to be one going up on the ladder…

  4. About the ladder — too late! I did and all is fine 😉

  5. Good Heavens, woman! Under no circumstances should you be climbing on ladders until this weird karma passes. 🙂

  6. When I saw “tree” and “cat” in the same story, I thought I knew how it was going to go…

    The important thing is that the tree is set up, and you’ve got a beautiful painting and a wonderful story to tell from it.

    Hee hee. I would have probably chucked the tree out the door, too.

  7. Your bowl of cherries had my mouth watering – and your story had my sides heaving! Oh, dear, Genece! What a saga! Made me so glad that my daughter takes over the Christmas tree business. Although some years I become tetchy and have my own just to be able to decorate it as I choose.
    Glad you survived the ladder test! I suspect it was necessary to prove to yourself that these physical things will NOT have dominance!

    Thanks for sharing your frustrations – and enjoyment in the final result!

  8. I love the dramatics of it all Genece. I must say this is all the more reason to have one of those live trees in a pot. Then, when Christmas is done you can plant it somewhere – have someone adopt it. Just imagine how happy all those little trees would be to find a good home.

    The bowl of cherries is sensational. It is cherry time here and we are really savouring their red lusciousness.

  9. These cherries just look “succulentes”! Yumm! :b

  10. How often have all of us dealt with wayward Christmas trees? Fun tale of cats, trees and cursing.


  11. your tale makes me wonder whether I should dare tackle decorating my own tree this weekend.
    The cherries look delicious, wish I could have some real ones in this part of the world

  12. O My!
    Do be careful–I once stood on top of a fence pole and topped a spruce that hung into my yard but that was when climbing was my thing–now like Trish I let the family do it but did find some angels just an inch high to hang this year–I hope some of the treasures survived! Your story was great–wish the cherries here were as big as yours. Fran

  13. Those cherries look luscious! I’m saving my pennies to buy a bag this weekend!I loved your story. I miss the beautiful pine smell of a real Christmas tree. I bet your lounge room smelt wonderful with all those needles being crushed! I can remember as a child throughout the year after Christmas finding pine needles in the nooks and crannies of the lounge room long after Christmas was over!

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