1846 Homestead Renovation

Bigger is Better, Right?

A happy landing for the Traveling Christmas Tree

All About Scale

Long before we took on this house renovation/building project, Jerry and I looked at spaces and discussed what we loved and didn’t love about them.  Consistently, scale was something that always made an impression on us.  This could be due to the years we spent in tiny military housing or perhaps it stemmed from visits to castles and cathedrals in Europe.  We were drawn to the open spaces, soaring ceilings, the grandness of what happens when something is, well…grand.  Jerry and I aren’t grand people as anyone who knows us will confirm.  We don’t live in a cathedral or castle, but we do live in Texas and we know a little something about wide open spaces.  Our forever home would, we decided, have space and scale and those things don’t just happen.

And so we bought a huge, 1,100 (kidding about huge) house and added all the scale and space in the addition.  What that left us with was a large room that has our dining room, kitchen, and living room spaces combined.  We super-sized the dining table, the stove and kitchen island and, in the living room, we designed a soaring 25ft vaulted ceiling with a stone fireplace to match.  It is a dreamy space.

Ho Ho Holy Smokes!

It was the beginning of November and I was itching to get started with the holidays.  Last year, we weren’t in the new house and we were up to our eyeballs in renovation dust.  While I had hoped to be in the new house for the holidays, it just didn’t work out that way.  To make matters worse, we had a kinda crappy holiday season.  What should have been the first Thanksgiving with both grandchildren, we ended up with only one of them being able to bring their parents for turkey.  The other came down with hand, foot and mouth disease and wisely stayed home.  Christmas was looking pretty good last year until a stomach virus hit and took us all out in turn.  Yuck.

But again, back in November, I was ready for the holidays and we needed a new Christmas tree.   So the question was…how tall does a Christmas tree need to be in a 25ft tall room?  We are native Texans and so we thought that bigger was better.  I mean…it IS all about scale, right?

After months of fretting that we couldn’t afford a tree that was tall enough, I found one on the Internet and we ordered it.  It showed up in two boxes that weighed about 100 pounds each.  Jacob and I wrestled them into the house.  For the first time, I began to wonder just how large this tree really was, but we wouldn’t know until after lunch on Thanksgiving.

The BIG Reveal

The moment we realized we had a problem.

So…we knew that it was going to be tall and that we would need ladders.  Being able to reach the tree from the landing rail would also be helpful and so the tree was going to be snuggled in between the kitchen and living room.  When the base section of the tree was opened, we realized that the tree was going to not only be tall, but huge as well.  The diameter of the base is 7.5ft.  Obviously, it couldn’t stay here and so we picked it up and carried it to the corner of the living room near the fireplace.

Check out the plywood and furniture dollies underneath. That is what makes this traveling Christmas tree possible.

Plan B

We installed a couple more sections using ladders and realized that our ladders were too short and the tree sections were too heavy to continue.  Hmmmm (again!).  The solution was to get the furniture dollies and a piece of plywood and load the now very heavy tree onto the makeshift transport dolly and move the it back under the landing so we could assemble it from above.  This worked great and then we realized we couldn’t reach all the limbs to “fluff” them.  And so the traveling Christmas tree took another trip.

This time, we rolled it near the stairs and started fluffing and decorating it from there.  Honestly, by this time, I was ready to leave it there, but it was on wheels and it make a semi-perilous jaunt back to the corner by the fireplace.  It looks really nice there by the fireplace.  It caused us to rearrange all the furniture in the room (fun stuff, that), but it was worth it because there is just something magical about a Christmas tree twinkling with lights near a crackling fire.  Very homey.

Our view from the landing while in the middle of the Christmas 2019 Tree Fiasco

What Might the Future Hold?

I joked on Facebook this morning that the Christmas tree was a new permanent part of our living room now.  I mean, who in their right mind would want to take it down let alone take it down knowing it had to go up again next year?  The thing is, all the rolling around the living room with our traveling Christmas tree was an adventure.  We laughed and problem solved as a family.  We all chatted and reminisced while we hung ornaments and sipped eggnog.  It was the best part of the entire weekend…being together while we prepared for the most wonderful celebration of the year.

Jordan promised that he and Anna will be here long enough to help take the tree down after Christmas.  Today, someone asked where the tree would be stored.   We have no idea, but like Scarlett…I’ll figure that out in January.

We have thought about and worried about scale a lot while building this house.  But for now,  I am going to stop worrying about scale and drink eggnog and eat cookies and be happy.  I’ll start worrying about THOSE scales come January.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *