Shows "C"

shipping season on the now frozen lake. During the winter, they worked as lumberjacks. The thoughts of the Tannenbaum keep turning over and over in Peter's mind. The shipping season of 1882 comes and goes. When it appears that all the ships should be put to rest for the winter, Peter asks that his ship be filled with Christmas trees and sail to Chicago. Though the others try to convince him that the weather may be fierce, Peter has his mind made up. He wants to take Christmas trees to Chicago so that his cousin, Martha, and her friends and neighbours can experience a bit of a German Christmas tradition. The scene opens on November 23rd in the woods. It is evening and a campfire glows as Gustav finishes making stew for the hungry men who have been chopping and hauling trees all week. The men eagerly eat their dinner, and though they have all agreed to work with Peter, they still think it's crazy to haul Christmas trees across Lake Michigan to Chicago. After dinner, the men go to bed. Peter returns from work and talks with his son, Karl. It appears that many of the kids at school think Peter's Christmas tree idea is crazy. Even Alma, thinks this is a stupid. Whatever the case may be, Peter believes in what he is doing and wants to go forward. Also, he knows that his son understands. The following day, Peter talks with a silent Alma who really can't understand why he wants to brings Christmas trees to Chicago just because a cousin wrote him a letter. He explains that he simply wants to bring the joy of the Tannenbaum to all the people who miss it. Alma agrees to let him go, and he leaves her. Left alone, Alma wonders why her husband is the way he is and why he follows the call of the sea. The ship finally casts off for Chicago. The journey is not an easy one. Ice forms on the tackle block and cleat. Storms rage as they move forward. As the ship continues its journey, Alma and the others wait and pray for their men to safely return. It is not an easy time for any of them. It is November 28th and the Molly Doone continues to make its way to Chicago. It is foggy and the crew is tired and cranky. Peter begins to wonder if Alma was right and if anyone will care about the trees. Luckily, the fog lifts and on December 1st they pull into the dock. There, they can see a crowd of people eagerly waving at them. When they arrive, Martha runs to Peter and Gustav eagerly telling them that she got their letter, and that everyone she has told wants a Christmas tree. Soon people rush to the dock and excitedly purchase trees. Back home, Karl and Alma pray for the Molly Doone's safe return. ACT TWO In Chicago, on December 2nd people are eagerly celebrating the Chicago Winterfest. Peter looks for a present to bring back to Alma and finally decides to get her a grandfather clock. He runs off to buy it while the other men are bamboozled into purchasing fake watches from street swindlers. Back home on December 11th, Alma is in the midst of preparing a Christmas fruitcake. Karl hurts his fingers as uses a hammer to crack the walnuts Alma needs for the cake. While Peter has been gone, Mother and son have shared a very nice time together. ("Loving Sons") Karl hopes that his father will bring him a present from Chicago. Alma reminds him that if the weather holds out, the ship should return by December 15th. However, no sooner does she say this than Peter appears in the doorway. The journey was so successful that, in fact, the trees they thought would take four days to sell sold in less than one day. The men deliver the grandfather clock, and an excited Alma thanks her husband. As she prepares to get some strudel for everyone, Peter unties her apron and takes her into his arms. Alone with her husband, Alma admits she is proud of him, and loves him very much. The men tell Peter they believe that if some of the planking on the ship was removed they could probably double the load of trees for next year. An alarmed Alma hears this and questions her husband. He promised that he would only risk a journey like this once. Peter explains that since the people were so happy, he had to do it again. Alma is only concerned about her husband's safety - not the happiness of the people of Chicago. Peter remembers he has a present for his son and produces a new pair of single-blade skates, which excites the young boy. The following November and for six to follow, the Molly Doone sails to America with the Christmas trees.