Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
this is the scene
two young trudging people...a man and woman dressed to stay warm....carrying bags of pinecones,apples,birdseed and peanut butter into the forest
a feisty Malamute puppy running along beside them
they were amazingly happy in their new digs already...they had followed 2 idiot friends to a small town in Oregon to simplify their lives
"come here and simplify your life" Mark's friends mother had said
and Michael and Barbara and their 3 scrubblings had gone....that had happened the previous summer
then the video tape began to come in the mail...silly clever stuff...the Main Street dogs that ruled the empty Main street by lying on the white lines in the middle and refusing to move until a horn was blown by a car or logging truck wanting to get by
Michael sitting in a small bedroom radio station at the mic imploring him to come be "Chris in the Morning" a la Northern Exposure
reading poetry and spinning tunes...who could resist that??
"you don't have to worry about thievery or any other kind of crime around here" Michael chided...unless you're a rancher...then some jealous neighbor might try to rustle a few steers from time to time"
you'll be in the safest place in the world here
"even then the sheriff will just make the offender give them back with a harsh warning"
ya know ya ought not do that anymore
so they packed up and left for the Great Northwest
their house was tiny...the merest slip of a house...with a shoddy looking cracked white picket fence surrounding it,the trees were overgrown,and there was high cheat grass all over the yard....they spent the rest of their summer painting, pruning and clearing the yard til all was spic and span and an asset to the neighborhood
when their first Christmas came around the question enter their heads about a tree
they never brought real trees...greenkeepers they didn't like to think of them being cut down....Smallville had once been a logging town and all the surrounding trees had been cut down until the folk living there had turned to dryland wheat farming and cattle raising
so the decision was made to decorate a tree in the forest....
Apples were picked at second harvests in a nearby town.... pine cones were gathered from near and far and they took their walk into the forest nearby to decorate a tree with seeds and peanut butter for the birds...and apples for the deer and any other varmint that was hungry
of course the neighbors in the cars passing their rig parked on the side of road were nosy about why it was there so they trudged in after them...and helped decorate....then they told their friends about it....and the school kids told their teachers about it...and suddenly lots of people and dogs were trudging into the forest....some even brought pack horses in...and it looked like the whole dang forest was gonna get guzzied up for Christmas
and indeed it was!!!
and as far i know the town is still doing it
and in honor of that couple that area of the forest has been named Henderson's Christmas Grove after Mark the original decorator who was killed early on in our war in Afghanistan
bless you Marko...in both Afghanistan and our neck of the woods you made a difference