Every Christmas for as long as I can remember, a small artificial Christmas tree would appear on top of the dam at the end of Bear Creek Lake. You would see it as you came down the mountain on Rt 115 headed into Wilkes-Barre. A few years ago – maybe four or five – the dam was rebuilt and that was the end of the special Christmas tree.
We would look every year. In fact, we would look at any time of year and repeatedly tell our long-suffering transplanted California daughter-in-law about the Christmas tree every time we drove down Rt 115. Bless her, she always acted interested and as if she was hearing about the special Christmas Tree for the first time.
So we have all come to accept that it’s gone. Now as head down the mountain, we all grow quiet and start thinking about the tree that used to be there. There’s no longer any need to mention it because it’s part of our family story, even though we had no direct connection to the dam or to the tree. We just know and we remember.
This year, we had so many people, presents, overcoats and pieces of luggage that it required 3 vehicles to get us from Central NJ to Shickshinny PA. My daughter and I were driving the presents and the dog in my car. The Poconos surprised us with some lovely Dec 24th snow flurries right before we came to the dam so the mood was pleasant and we were feeling nostalgic and thinking about Christmases past and the people we loved who are no longer here with us. We have more people in PA to love now but the old ones are gone and so is the special Christmas tree. *sigh*
And then we both shrieked at the same time: CHRISTMAS TREEEEE!
It’s back. It’s not the same one, of course. This one is less battered and the ornaments are different but its the same size and in the same place – exactly in the center of the dam. How do they do that?
It wasn’t until I looked at this photo a few times that I realized no water was flowing over the dame – it usually looks like this. But whatever. It’s back and we’re delighted and I’m sure ours was only one of thousands of carfulls that saw it and were thrilled.
Now it’s Christmas.