At the main entrance of my street rests a somewhat disheveled building that has served as a place of business for everything from a tool rental store to a window tinting and custom auto paint shop, and before that, what I’m 98% sure was a chop shop. I’ve always liked this building, though, because for so many people, it has represented a possibility, or a dream of sorts, at one time or another. The window tinting crew relocated earlier in the year, leaving behind empty store windows, a large multi-car service garage space and an even larger graveled parking area. For months I wondered what type of business would move in next, but the spot remained deserted throughout the fall.
And then, during the week of Thanksgiving, magical things started happening.
As the houses in my neighborhood lit up one-by-one with red, green and white, the graveled space gradually filled with freshly-cut pine trees. A faded blue, vintage 60’s model trailer rolled in and parked by the trees, a large pine wreath adorning the front grill.
The “TREES FOR SALE” signs went up all over the windows of my favorite building, adjacent to the gravel-pit-turned-tree-farm. A few days later, I noticed brightly colored lights lining the exterior of the building, and some of the cut trees propped up beside the road with more no-frills homemade signage.
For the last few days, I’ve seen unfamiliar cars, trucks and SUVs pass by, hauling trees tied down with rope, just like all those old red truck graphics prevalent throughout the throw pillow section at Pottery Barn.
Magical shit, I’m telling you–it’s like a Hallmark movie is being filmed less than 75 feet from my mailbox! I’m sorry, but I can’t contain myself. This new (and sadly, only temporary) occupant of my favorite little building is the most charming thing I’ve seen since driving around the Manchester, Vermont area last winter. And actually, this is way more charming, because a young boy is helping his family cut, store, sell, and then finally, secure those beautiful trees to the tops of vehicles in the evenings and on weekends.
Q: How do you spell, “charming”?
A: THE little roadside tree “shoppe” on my street.
This setup makes me so happy each time I pass by it. Recently, I stopped, hopped out of my car and took a few pictures of the “store front” on my way home from work. Of course, the little boy approached to ask me if I needed help. “Your lights and signs are so pretty,” I explained as I tucked away my camera. “I really love this, I live just down the street and I enjoy seeing it when I pass by.”
I’m a weirdo.
The boy looked at me cautiously, then returned to his post inside the trailer. In true Stephanie fashion, I sneakily took another picture (or five), then went on my merry little way.
I just thought I’d share this little story, because sometimes, the simplest little things are most charming this chaotic time of year. I’ll remember the roadside makeshift tree farm for years to come, and I really hope they come back next season.
And if you don’t hear from me in awhile, I was probably apprehended by local authorities for creeping around the place too often.