A local author contributed to this year’s Christmas edition of the long-running anthology Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Rose Howe, a published author from Monument and widely-followed blogger, told the Eagle she had never heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

“I thought it was some sort of cookery book,” Howe said after a writer friend suggested that she submit her story for publication.

Howe, who runs the Triple H Ranch with her husband of 33 years, Darrell, said she was “astounded” at how big and far-reaching the series is.

“I felt very humbled, that they would consider my little story,” Howe said.

Howe’s contribution to the book tells the true story of a young girl, Ashley Mund, who roughly a decade ago began decorating a small scraggly tree off of the side of the road every year at Christmas with her father, Mitch. The tradition carries on to this day.

Howe, who, at the time, drove an ambulance late at night, said the tree always made her smile — and, she said, soothed her after difficult calls.

“You come around that corner and in your headlights pick out that purple tree,” she said. “It really does kind of give you a sense of peace and make you tear up.”

She said she thinks the story evokes in people the realization that the world, even before the pandemic, goes at such a fast pace and is ever-changing.

“They’ve got their fancy phones and they’re always on the internet and Facebook and this, that, the other,” she said.

With families becoming more and more spread out and disconnected, she said, the meaning of Christmas can get lost.

“I think it appeals to people when they realize that there is still a young lady out there who is committed, and determined, no matter where she is to come back and find a scraggly little tree on the side of the road and decorate it so that when people drive by they see this tree,” she said, “and it honestly cannot help but bring a smile to your face.”

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Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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