Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Tree Sale Wrapup-Heading West

December 11-24, 2019

On 12/22 we closed our Christmas tree lot at dark. That evening the owners came around and paid us our wages. With wages, deliveries and tips we are happy with what we earned for 26 days of 12 hour days. We do plan to return though to a different lot, we’ll be in Carrolton TX, north side of the DFW Metroplex. Our thoughts are we will then stay in TX, either volunteering or at our place on the Gulf Coast.

The stats for the 2019 season: Sold 429 trees, sales totaled $81,615, average sales per day = 17, average daily sales = $3,130, average tree cost = $190.  The busiest day was Saturday after Thanksgiving when we sold 58 trees, we had over $11k in sales. The slowest day was our last Friday when we sold 1 tree for $100. The owners came around daily to pick up the previous day’s receipts.  We had a total of 500+ trees when we started, 60 of those were donated the last weekend for a fish habitat when we closed on 12/22 we had 26 trees that went to a chipper. The owners were very pleased with our work, thankfully we had some great tips from our friends who usually run the lot. We were tasked with taking ownership of the lot which we did, and the results showed since we’ve been asked repeatedly to return we know we did well. We are so glad to be done though. Our last night on the lot after we closed we walked across the street to Palio’s Pizza for our first meal out since we opened.

Monday 12/23 we were up and on the road, 365 miles later we arrived at Monahans Sandhill State Park. The park exists because the surrounding area is sand dunes where you can slide down the hills on disks, the round type we used to use for snow. The sites are very small and it took a bit for us to get into ours, the sites have so much sand on them you don’t know where the asphalt ends and the sand begins. We finally got settled into site 9. The nearby town of Monahans didn’t have much in the way of open restaurants, we had hoped to eat out, and instead, we headed home, after fueling up, for a dinner of hotdogs and an early bedtime.

Tuesday, 12/24, we were on the road by 6:30 am, we had 540 miles to go before our day ended. An uneventful ride found us pulling into Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson AZ at 2:30. A great pull-thru, easy satellite set up and Verizon has a decent signal. We’ll be here for 4 nights before heading to Tucson and then onto Phoenix.

We wish our family and friends a wonderful and joyous holiday season. 


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Life On A Christmas Tree Lot

November 29-December 10, 2019

We have been living on the Christmas tree lot for almost 3 weeks. Prior to opening, we enjoyed getting out to a variety of restaurants to take care of our different food cravings; Italian, Mexican and Asian. We knew once we opened we wouldn’t be able to go out for dinner till we closed the lot for the season. 
My office

We officially opened our lot on Thanksgiving and made 5 sales that day. As of 12/10, we have sold 335 trees. We had another delivery of trees the week after Thanksgiving bringing our total trees to sell to 514, only 179 to go. 
Trying to drum up business 
Our days are much the same, we open the lot at 9am and close at 9pm. About 8:30pm I close out the books for the day and Dave starts watering the trees. If we have to go grocery shopping or do laundry those are done before we open. Of course, the weekends are the busiest, thankfully we are provided with good help for those days. Weekdays we are averaging 12 sales a day. We have a motion detector so when we are slow we can enjoy the comforts of our home while waiting for customers to show up. Dave has made 15 deliveries so far, he gets paid directly for those, and we hope to have another 5 by the time we leave. We’ve had some very great and generous customers so the tips are adding up, we’ve also been the recipient of some delicious baked goods. A big thanks to the local customers for making this such a great experience for us.  
Trees for the kids

"Fat Albert"



Every day we spend time moving trees around the lot, filling in holes where trees have gone onto homes, tending to broken branches and keeping the lot presentable. Some of the trees are 12’ to 14’ tall and weigh 200+ pounds, thankfully we only have 4 of those left. As the season winds down we are moving all the trees inside under the tent when a hole opens up. 
12'-14' trees

For those who might be interested in being an attendant on a Christmas tree lot: it can be physically demanding, especially early on when the lot is full of trees, you have to help customers get the trees loaded into or onto their vehicles, the hours are long though you’re not always busy but you have to be on sight, lots of cash and check handling involved-thankfully we don’t have to deal with credit cards. It can be a rewarding job-lots of great customers and for the short time we are here we are making decent money and not spending much. We do have the ability to order stuff off of Amazon since they have lockers a mile or so down the road. Will we be doing this again? Ask us in March, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we do, we have been told they will have another lot in need of help next year. The owners are great to work for and want us to take ownership of our lot, the only thing we don’t have a say in is the pricing of the trees but as the season winds down we have been given a little leeway in what we can offer the customer in savings.  

A local business lighted up the front of the parking lot.

The weather has been all over the place, from sunny 70’s to cold and rainy 30’s, we can’t wait to get to the AZ desert and continual sunshine.  
Our Christmas tree this year

Until next time…