December 05, 2009

Failures and Fix-its

What a busy week we have had! I don't think I will have time to post much until the new year if things continue as they are. On one hand, we are exhausted! We get up and get out to the farm, trying to leave the house is some semblance of order, come home after a long COLD day, eat and prepare for the next day. On the other hand, it is so fun and not TOO much work. Sometimes all we do at the farm is sit by the wood stove and read stories or practice our recitations for the Christmas Program. People come into the little "shed turned shop" and share conversation or troubles and it is very relaxing...but it is still time away from home...I am glad for Sundays, when the farm is closed and we go to church and come HOME.

Here are some highlights from our new adventure:

~Runaway Twine ~

On our first day we were very busy - plus we didn't know WHAT we were doing. It's not like we went to a class to learn how to run a tree farm. It's not like we had a supervisor to give us orders. We have employees - but they are young - A beautiful yet bossy eight year old, a feisty and giggly six year old and a happy distracted five year old - The Santos Children.

Mr. Santos was on the far end of the farm helping a wholesaler load and cut trees. He sent the "employees" back up the hill with a giant ball of twine. There were some customers waiting for it in order to tie their tree down. Well, the employees made it to the top of the hill...Not before stopping along the way to pick up a very good walking stick and winding through the trees in figure eights.

At the top of the hill waited the customers (three young people in their late teens or early twenties)- very patiently - which was a blessing. Suddenly the huge ball of twine fell out of the hands of the oldest employee and went rolling down the hill leaving a nice long trail of twine. There were shouts and fusses and the twine, now a tangled mess, was slowly brought up the hill only to be dropped AGAIN. Fifty miles of twine stretched out over the parking lot and hill. The kids, ahem employees, were overwhelmed. I came out of the shop because I didn't know why the customers were just hanging around. I also wanted to know what they were looking at (why they didn't help the children is beyond me)...I quickly ran to cut some twine and gave a piece to the customers. Unfortunately, the customers didn't know what to do with the twine, so I helped them tie their tree down. Then the children and I began gathering and rolling the twine before the next wave of people came in.

The Failure? Mr. Santos was ANGRY at the employees. There were lots of tears, slumped shoulders, and stress. The Fix-it. Twine is ready and available at the shed where the customers can get it easily and Mr. Santos acknowledges the limitations and gifts of the employees.

~Welcome to the Farm~

It is very exciting to the Santos Family Farm Employees when a customer comes in. There is an invisible "bell" at the gate entrance. When a customer drives in the bell goes off. It sounds like three voices yelling "Mom, someone is here, someone is here!" On the first day, maybe the second day too, (it's all such a blur) the children would run out to the customer's car and open their door for them.

Oh My.

We have now trained the employees that some people don't LIKE children. Some people don't like valet tree service. Some people might be on the phone when they drive up to the farm and don't appreciate noses and fingerprints pressed into the glass of their car windows.

We now welcome all our visitors with waves and welcomes from the shop, allowing them time to get out of their car - OR not.

~That's an ugly tree~

A lovely family came in - good friends - and picked out a unique tree. That is what is so wonderful about a tree farm, all the trees are unique. Well, one of the employees commented on it. "That is an ugly tree. It looks like a Charlie Brown Tree. You sure like ugly trees."


Thankfully, these were good friends with a sense of humor. The employees really are so helpful and these little things are funny and no big deal. What IS a big deal is the prideful stress the bosses experience and pass on to the employees. The Failure? Pride. Lack of a sense of humor. Tension. The Fix-it? Relax and smile. What a fix-it. We laugh a lot more and come home much less fatigued.

Well, I could go on and on, but I've got to get breakfast on the table...maybe if I stop blogging I will have time to clean the kitchen before we dash out to the farm. Happy day to you!


  1. Oh Mrs.S. I am laughing and crying all at the same time as I read this BEAUTIFUL story!!! Thank you for sharing your new venture with us!
    You all are doing a WONDERFUL job!
    Thank you also for reminding me that keeping a sense of humor and a true perspective on the gifts and limitations of our children is the secret to a happy life!!!
    God BLESS you with a JOYFUL, PROSPEROUS season at the farm! I am so impressed and admire your family so very much!

  2. Hi Judy: Thanks for the encouragement. How are all your little one this season? I hope you are all healthy and happy...check your e-mail soon for a little surprise from me...


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