“Christmas Sticks” of Florida and Michigan

Back in the early days of our love, Patricia and I used to roam the forest roads of the Nicolet National Forest in Vilas County of Wisconsin and look for a small, scrawny pine growing in the ditches, by the side of the road, to bring home for our Christmas tree.  We always found one and loved it’s small ordinariness.

In Sarasota, we wandered quite often to Phillippi Estate Park.  After moving to Cass street we found a cut branch there, waiting-to-become-mulch-and-wanting-to-be-our-christmas-stick.  For eight of our nine years on Cass street this “christmas-stick-about-to-become-Phillippi-Estate-Park-mulch” stood in front of our house.  It was lit all twelve months of the year, inviting guests to our home, and passersby to smile at the  whimsical joy of a stick-tree-lit-every-night-all-year-long.

One time we were going to take it down.  A neighbor I had never met was going by and said, “Oh, please leave it up . . . I count on seeing it whenever I go by . . . It raises my spirits. . .  Please, leave it up!”

We did . . . Here is how it looked in 2014:

The christmas stick - 2416 Cass St, Sarasota, 2014.jpg

When we had a moving sale in early August of this year, en route to Northport – Becky, from across the street in Sarasota, bought the tree . . . Maybe she has it lit in front of her house this season,  who knows.

So . . . on a whimsey, Patricia and I wandered in Leelanau State Park today to find a “Christmas Stick” for our home in Northport.

We found three . . . and chose this one . . . it is the most whimsical of all.

whimsical stick tree - ala' Northport.jpg

Not to worry . . . if you are out of the area for the winter, it may just be that you will see the lights of this “stick” on the porch next to Trinity Church in July of 2016 and beyond.

lights of Christmas - 107 N Warren - December 11, 2015.jpg


Pure whimsey.

It brings Patricia and me great pleasure to have our version of a Charlie Brown tree as part of our lives.

We sent some wreaths from Bells of Christmas (they have been being made right here in Northport by the Bells family since 1926) like the one you see on our door in the picture above to family and extended family.

Then today, after we found our newest “Christmas Stick” on the Cathead Trail of Leelanau State Park, we stopped at Bells of Christmas and bought this tree for inside our home from Jim Bell.  It is beautiful, indeed!

Our inside tree - thank you Jim and Doreen Bell - Bells of Christmas, Northport, MI.jpg

Ornaments yet to be hung . . . but the lights are fun.

Maya Angelou’s poem, “On the Pulse of the Morning” has been on my mind (you may get to see and hear her read it (via youtube) on the Sunday after Christmas at Trinity.

I hope many of you will be present.

The gifts of Sofia, the Wise Ones, donchano . . .

She speaks of “A Rock, A River, and A Tree” . . .

To/of the tree she says:

The speaking of the tree.
Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers–
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot…
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.

May all who pass by 107 N Warren know:

Each of you, descendant of some passed on Traveller, has been paid for.

Come here to me. 

Root yourself beside me.

Oh yes!


Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Namaste to all of you.

May you know how beloved you are!

Come to Trinity Church of the UCC in Northport, Michigan, on Sunday, December 13, 2015 to learn from a Roman Soldier (thank you Bob W), an inn-keeper (thank you Jan H), and a shepherd (thank you Joe T).  These are among the stories of those who people the birth of Christ in Chapters 1&2 of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament of the Bible.  Our reading for Sunday morning will be from Luke 2:1-7.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are invited to join us.


You are invited!

Published by philandpatricia

we live in Northport, MI

10 thoughts on ““Christmas Sticks” of Florida and Michigan

  1. Our best to you always, and especially during this Christmas season. Beringer, Jordon and I are townspeople (peasants) in the Boar’s Head Christmas Pageant at Oakland Presbyterian Church this year. Performances tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Love to you both,
    Linda, Joe and “the boys”

  2. Phil and Patricia….Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and words. They always touch my heart, and make me glad……..and thankful to know you both, and to have you here in our midst.

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