But no, they continued talking. Then she went back to one of the hanging trees, and began checking it out again. I got out of the car and went over to the tree, not so much to give any advice or opinion, since I, of course, have not the idea of the tree, but to make ready to move the hunt out to the hillside.
"He says there isn't much out there. All the really nice Frasiers are in here." She was still holding the tag.
"So? What are we doing?" I am not the most patient of people.
"Well, this one isn't too bad."
"Looks fine to me." But what do I know, I thought. "We go out hunting, this one's liable to be gone by the time we get back. Bird in the hand, and all that."
"Let's just take a quick look, as long as we're here."
Quick look, I thought. Right. A half hour later we were back for the tree. They were right; the hillside rows were indeed nearly depleted. The tree is home, sitting in the crock in the living room, waiting for decoration. It's a little too hefty at the bottom. It has a gap or two in the upper branches, and on the whole, it isn't really what you'd call slender. The idea of Christmas tree it is not. The idea of tree is still out there, waiting for next Christmas.
Come December 12, on the other hand, I will be lighting the first of the candles in my idea of a menorah, one we don't have to search for every year, but one that will sit on a table right across the room from the almost but never quite ideal of the Christmas Tree.