Christmas tree at the top

A family tradition lives on ~ by Melea Johnson

For Goodness Sake Posted on Nov 20, 2019
We hiked everywhere. My dad was a logger in Oregon, and he loved to lace up his boots and venture into nature. My sister and I grew to love it, as well.

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches 460 across Oregon. As teenagers, our dad decided we could manage to hike 100 of it with him, so we did. There was really no way to tell how far we actually walked because our dad forged his own trail for much of it. If there was a log over a river to cross or a steep ravine to maneuver, our dad would coach us on how to step correctly. We learned to not look down.

Christmas was my favorite. The season always included a trip to the tallest snow-covered mountain, to find the perfect live Christmas tree. My sister and I grew to know this is what you are supposed to do.

We never went in an SUV. Our trek was always in a full-size logging truck to traverse the roads no one else travels. My sister and I wore oversized snowmobile suits that made us look as wide as we were tall and often were in the throws of a snowball fight to stay warm.

When we heard the chain saw fire up, we knew the perfect tree had been found. The tradition of the trip back home included singing Christmas carols as loudly as we could and devouring a packed lunch of warm soup and sandwiches. Once home, we couldn’t wait to decorate our tree and make it even more beautiful than it was when we found it. It was magical.

Now, as I age, I am tempted to research the options of artificial trees with beautiful lights already placed. But it will never happen. I can’t even imagine the whispers from heaven I would hear from my beloved dad...

Here's to all family traditions and magical memories this holiday season. Merry Christmas!