While attending the Emerald City Romance Writer’s Conference in Seattle, I had the pleasure of hearing the incomparable Cherry Adair speak. Along with nuggets of writing wisdom and a tea she’d generously sponsored, she and her assistant, Connie decorated the main ballroom in festive Halloween trees. Two large trees stood on each side of the podium and a mini, live Douglas Fur created an inspired centerpiece for each table.
On the last day of conference, the queen of orange gave away all the tiny trees… and I wanted one. Except… as much as I’m wowed by the creativity, I have to travel back to Atlanta via plane. With conference goodies and souvenirs of my first trip to Seattle, my suitcases were bursting. A good problem to have. I decided to check a bag and still I had to repack a few times to get everything to fit without splitting the sides.
Determined, I put my head together with Susan Carlisle and new conference friend, Karen. Cherry handed the original boxes for the tea cup base. Susan suggested using another box to close in the top. Step one complete, the tiny tree was snug inwhite boxes. The driver came and I asked if the box could remain upright. He placed it in the front seat and the white box rode up to the Salish Lodge so Susan and I could have a scrumptious breakfast overlooking the Snoqualmie Falls. Then on to the airport.
As we got closer, I worried about getting through TSA and decided only to say something if they brought it to my attention. It sailed on the conveyor belt without incident. No questions. Woo-hoot. My little tree was half-way home. Through the terminal, on the tram and down to the gate with an overfull backpack on my back and carrying Cherry’s tree. Of course the flight is full. The airline representative asked for passengers to check their bags, so the flight wouldn’t be delayed. Not a goodsign. Surely, I couldn’t have slepped this box all the way to the gate to be stopped now.
The plane starts to load and I’m thankful I’m not in the last boarding zone. There’s a jam up in the aisle. Finally, I get to my seat and the overhead compartment is half full or half empty in my case. I slide the white box securely in the bin and check to see if it will close. Eureka – it fits. The stress begins to slide away. I hope the dirt will stay in the cup and that the decorations stay on. I’ll just have to wait and see.
Home at last and the tiny tree did well.
Now, just where to plant it in the yard?