While working as a “Design Homer” for Home Depot many years ago, Ms. SpoolTeacher was commissioned by her boss to come up with a Christmas display.
Some time before that, he had asked her to do something special to hang over the Behr Paint counter. She had done that commission while working on the sales floor with customers going buy calling her Picasso, constantly interrupting her with questions and running their fingers through the paint to see if it was dry.
When he asked her to do this deed, she said in a not uncertain tone, “Only if I can work from home.”
Joy, oh joy! He fell for it.
They let her take whatever supplies she needed and off she went. Of course, she did do some work “off the clock” (for free), coming up with the design and thinking it through as to how she would pull it off. This was something she had never tackled before.
She learned a lot on that task. She did the original drawing on newsprint and enlarged it to fit a 4X6 foot sheet of plywood using the block method. She did this in her car stall in the apartment she was living in then. The apartment was upstairs, the carport down. She drove the plywood in her truck to the port, enlarged the drawing and then brought the plywood back to work for the “tool corral” manager to take FOR-EV-ER cutting the shape out with a skill saw because he was a gabber and not just with her but with EV-ER-Y one that crossed his path. However, that said, she did learn how to use a skill saw watching him all that time and the next year when her new manager asked her to do it all again for his store, she cut it out herself!
After it was cut out, she had to drag that heavy plywood up those stairs to her tiny little apartment where she worked on plastic in her tiny little living room. She took quart cans of enamel house paint in the primary colors, red, blue, yellow and also green, black and brown. Any other colors, she mixed from those. House paint isn’t the best to use for art. It has an unusual viscosity that is hard to manage, but she enjoyed it just the same.
She didn’t really have enough time to finish it the way she had wanted, but no one complained or even noticed the things she hadn’t done.
The next time, she made two reindeer, one with a black nose and one with red. Rudolph.
So now, all these years later, Ms. SpoolTeacher is still working from home. She got a taste for it and hasn’t looked back.
Freezing in place so as not to spend $300 on electricity in a month, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
She’s hoping to write a book, build the business she’s been dreaming of, or just keep on sewing and altering and cleaning people’s toilets, anything to keep working from home…
So far, so good and it keeps getting better and better.
Kringo, the little Christmas Tree sings, dances and plays the harmonica. Someday, maybe he will be in a bookstore, delighting readers with his story…
For now, she will leave you with an edited, re-edited and edited again excerpt to see what you think so far…
Kringo, The Little Christmas Tree
Way up on a hill where only wild animals and birds live….
A little baby tree sprouted in the rich soil of the old, old mountaintop.
He had a very large forest family. His father named him Kringo.
He was a happy little tree and was growing up quickly.
As Kringo grew and grew, he started making friends with all the other timber kids and families..
Kringo lived in such a remote area that he had never seen a human; only wild animals like birds and squirrels and deer. He loved it so much when they all jumped and played around him. He laughed and giggled and waved and swayed in the breeze of the cool mountain air.
Kringo was so happy to be among his timber family and friends and he was very loved by all of them. He didn’t want anything to ever change. ..
One day when Kringo was laughing with his forest friends and the birds and squirrels and deer, a strange noise he didn’t understand started getting louder and louder and shaking the ground. The little squirrels ran and the birds flew off. The deer started stampeding off.
It didn’t sound like anything he had ever heard before.
He became afraid and called out to his father, “Daddy, what is it, what is that awful, banging rumbling noise?”
Suddenly a big truck with a long, flat- bed behind it came roaring into the forest and Kringo was very frightened and started shaking. He had never felt that kind of feeling before and he didn’t know what to think.
Kringo called out to his family, “What’s happening, what’s going on. I’m afraid!”
His father called back to him, “Kringo, don’t be afraid. This is a lumberjack coming up to our forest to pick the best little trees to go and be decorated for Christmas. This is a great honor for a little tree like you to be. Soon you will be the center of attention in someone’s house and you will have lots of bright-colored lights on you and everyone will be looking at you with joy and glee. All the little children will jump and dance and laugh with excitement.”
Kringo felt like dancing and playing harmonica. He was feeling a great sense of pride.
He could only imagine what it was going to be like. ..
His father had told him that he would be the center of the house and that all the parents and children would sing pretty songs about Christmas. They would all be celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus, The King of the World, the son of God.
So Kringo felt joyful and honored and was glad to be going to be a Christmas tree.
But, he was a little sad too because his elder timber family and friends would not be going with him and that they were not going to be Christmas trees. He was really going to miss them.
It turned out to be just as his father had said it would be.
It was a wonderful life .
Kringo was the center of attention in the center of the living room throughout the Christmas season.
All of the little children sat under the tree looking into the glass ornaments making faces at themselves and enjoying the sparkle. They sang songs and had lots of company come in and out with presents and good food, cookies and candies.
Every night the children would ask, “Mommy, Daddy, how long will it be now before we get to open our presents and will Santa bring us what we really want?”
Kringo, the little Christmas tree, just listened and knew that the little children had been very good; so, they would probably get what they were hoping for.
At least he hoped they would. He had enjoyed them so much, with all their happiness and glee.
Kringo was happy the day Christmas came.
The family got up and had so much excitement around him opening gifts and playing with their new toys.
Pretty soon, the mother and father told the children to go get dressed for church. They were going to go give thanks for the gift that truly means the most; the gift of the baby Jesus, the Savior of the World.
They all got dressed in pretty Christmas outfits, ate a nice Christmas breakfast of cinnamon buns with icing and then took off for church to sing and give praise for the best present of all.
Kringo felt a little sense of sadness, he could feel that the season was winding down. He didn’t know what would happen next, now that Santa had come and gone.
The family came home and all gathered around the little Christmas tree again and talked about how happy they were and what a good season it had been.
The mother said, “Well, I guess we will leave the little Christmas tree up until after New Years day, but then we will all spend the day taking the ornaments off and putting them away for next year.”
Kringo got scared again, but the children were so happy playing around him with their new toys all dressed up in their pretty Christmas outfits. Their friends came and went all day. Everyone hugging and kissing, dancing around and having fun. Admiring him still.
“What a beautiful tree.” Their friends all said. “What a beautiful shape and perfect fullness. So green and lush. How have you kept it so nice all season?”
Kringo knew it was because he had been so happy …
It had kept him healthy to have been so loved.
But now what to think?
Where would he go? What would he do? Would this be the end?
He wouldn’t think about that now. He would just enjoy this day and hope for the best time he could have for as long as he could, whatever will be, will be.
New Years Day…
The family got up and started gathering boxes all around Kringo.
He started to get nervous.
The family said with sadness, “This little Christmas tree has been the best tree we have ever had.”
Kringo felt pride again and wished he had a harmonica.
He remembered what his father had said and began to realize that he has served his purpose. He had lived the life he had been meant to live and had done it especially well.
Everyone had been well pleased and had enjoyed him to the fullest.
He must be brave now and know that wherever he would go to next would be where he was meant to be.
The family spent great care and time, admiring the little Christmas tree as they took each ornament off and then all the lights.
They all took a part of the tree and carried it out to the side of the curb and walked back into the house.
Kringo didn’t know what to think, laying there all by himself, stripped of all his pretty ornaments and bright colored lights.
It kept getting later and colder and darker.
He was laying there in the loneliness thinking about his old timber family and friends and missing them now, wishing he was with them again. He didn’t know it would end like this.
What would happen now?
That night it started to rain.
Kringo finally went to sleep, actually liking the feeling of the soft wet rain, soothing his dry brittle needles….
That’s all for now. Merry Christmas to all!