The next afternoon, after attending church with Spencer and Mrs. P, Kate and Sarah ate lunch and while they ate, Kate told Sarah about their outing to get a Christmas tree.
“You have to help us pick out the prettiest four-foot tree we can find, okay?”
“We have tree…in the house?” Sarah had a look of amazement.
“Yep, and then later Mrs. P will come over and help us decorate it. I have some ornaments you can hang on the tree.” She bought more when she went shopping the previous night.
Sarah clapped her hands, excited for a day of fun.
She and Sarah had been attending church on the Sundays neither she or Spencer worked. Spencer would come pick them up after getting Mrs. P settled into his front seat. Sarah seemed to like the other kids in her class and Kate slowly got back into the rhythm and traditions of church attendance. She actually found that she had missed it all these past years.
At the tree farm, Sarah ran ahead of them and loved looking at possible trees. It was funny to see Sarah look up so far and try to assess whether a particular one was ‘the perfect tree’. Kate took pictures and they had fun strolling through the field of Scotch pines and blue spruces.
Once they picked one out and Spencer cut it down, it was tossed onto a wagon and hauled to the shaking station. When they rode the bus back to the parking lot they discussed what it would take for Kate to make the trip up north before her TDY. “An extra set of hands and a barrel full of patience, I think.”
“I don’t have to leave until February, so I could travel with you, if you want. I’ve been up there a few times; I wouldn’t mind and have the time.” Spencer looked rugged in his coat, boots and knit cap.
Kate took Sarah’s hand before stepping off the bus. They watched their tree get shaken in the machine and then bundled in red netting. Spencer pulled the tree behind them and paid for it, after Kate’s mild protest. She was still considering his offer and wasn’t really paying attention to what he was doing with her tree.
After Spencer installed the tree into the stand for her, Kate found the lights and he helped her put them on. Kate watered it and spread the tree skirt around it. Buttons came to sniff out this new object in their midst. Kate admonished him, “Don’t you dare!” Spencer suppressed a smile. “I’ll leave you to it.”
“You’re welcome. Have fun tonight, Sarah.” She nodded her head. Kate walked him to the door and gave him a quick hug and he left.
Sarah asked, “We put the pretties on now?”
Kate smiled at her, “Not yet. We will when Mrs. Pettigrew gets here.” Their guest was going to show them how to make popcorn strings for the tree. It was something Kate had never done and she was looking forward to doing something new with her and Sarah. Kate already had her collection of favorite Christmas CDs out and had been playing them after work. She had invited Spencer to come back, but he declined, saying he had some errands to run.
Will it be a white Christmas for Kate and Spencer?