Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree!

I received a routine promotion while I was assigned to Vietnam. However, I was now considered a "Senior NCO" so my records went into the database at the Pentagon. Shortly after Christmas the 1st Calvary Division was notified they would be moving north in early January. My unit was in direct support of that division so I was tasked with going up north and doing some coordination for this change. The weather was bad, I had a difficult time getting a flight back to my unit. Arriving back on New Years Eve I was greeted with ... "What are you doing back here, DA (Department of the Army) says that you have been assigned out of the US for too long and wants you out of here now!" A few days later I was on my way home with orders for Ft. Carson, CO. If I had not been ordered out early I would have been trying to exit as the Tet Offensive began. Several of my comrades did not make it.

Donna and I enjoyed our time in Colorado. We were on a tight budget but learned that we could cut a Christmas tree in the nearby Rocky Mountain National Forest for a very modest fee. The next two Christmases we Drove up in our VW beetle and cut our own tree. The roads were typical rutted and bumpy Forest Service roads, but as impetuous youngsters we didn't care, we just enjoyed the drive. If and when you got stuck others on a similar quest would assist you... they had to... there was only one way out. The rules have changed now, but at that time they were that you could take any tree from the designated area, but that you were to cut it down at the base, top off the part that you wanted, cut the branches from the trunk left behind, then go on your way. Our second year there we went up during the first weekend (6th or 7th) of December. The tree we selected was at the least 15 feet tall, the portion that we kept hung out over both ends of the car. It was a long, and bouncy trip back down the mountain but we only needed a little push twice.

We had to shorten the tree another three feet in order to stand it up in the house. It looked smaller on the car than in the house. Donna then went to work with the left over branches fashioning them into a giant wreath which filled the five foot square front picture window of our on base housing unit. We had a very spectacular Christmas display. Today I would not even consider that drive in those conditions, but we were young and felt invincible.

But the best part of this story I saved 'till last, it was scarcely two weeks later on Friday night that I again took Donna for an adventure in the VW. This time it was to the base hospital where Loren, our first born, was delivered early in the morning of Saturday, 20 December. She surprised everyone as she was there in labor for less than two hours. Did I mention something about young and foolish!


1 comment:

Ellisa said...

Another great story, Dad. I can't believe Mom did that before giving birth to Loren. But...I'm sure I'll look back at decisions I've made and wonder what I was thinking!!