Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Monday, December 12, 2005

The year of the blue tree, part 1

A saga of astonishing foolhardiness, to be continued tomorrow...

Mid-afternoon: we decide that we must get a tree because on our only other possible free day, we have a morning baptism five hours away in Malone (nephew Cambrie, heir to the local French Canadian cheese houses of Camembert and Brie) and an evening pageant in Templeton. So we head off to a tree farm owned by a nurse at Bassett, a pleasantly haphazard place where we found a perfect nine-foot tree for a mere ten dollars last year. R complains that it is not as much fun when there is no snow and no dog to romp in it, and why can't we take the dog and the (alas, say I) visiting puppy? We get lost. We ask for directions. We find another tree farm on a dirt road, where the trees are twice as much. That's still a bargain. First, we tromp up a mountainside where the trees are comically shaped, like mountain cows with their legs shorter on one side than the other. We decide to hike along the valley, where the Douglas firs appear to be pleasantly punctuated with blue spruce. It would be fun to have one of those for a change, some sadly mistaken person decides. It might even have been me. We walk, even N, who is already tired but toddles along in his red boots and his foot-tall blue hat. R does not walk because she seems 15 and hormonal today, even though she is only 10. She stays in the car with the doors locked against passing bad guys. Nobody at all passes. It is a little dirt road.