W.A. Coolidge Company is a full service construction company serving the Seacoast of New Hampshire, Maine, and Northern Massachusetts. The owners, Wayne A. Coolidge and Wendy A. Wentworth Coolidge have been partners for over 30 years. We specialize in high quality residential and commercial building, renovations, and restorations.
The Coolidge Company is about flexibility, innovation, and results. Our company will focus on your precise wishes in order to deliver cost-effective solutions to any project. We strive to offer superior quality by using and overseeing the best and reliable subcontractors and suppliers in the area. We believe that every project that we undertake will be completed within a timely fashion as if it was our personal home. We offer first class craftsmanship and attention to detail from start to finish. We want to make your dream project a reality along with providing a fun and memorable experience.
Custom cabinets, quartz countertops, and radiant heat underfoot transformed this kitchen to one of comfort and efficiency. (Dover, NH)
The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
By: Wayne Coolidge
The year was 1981, Wendy and I were newlyweds living in a one bedroom 3rd floor apartment. We were on college break from UNH, and it was two weeks before Christmas. We had plenty of Christmas spirit but no money for a tree. So, we decided to improvise and cut down our own. My parents lived in Strafford and owned 10 acres of mostly woods. No problem – we would go out into the forest and cut down a beautiful tree for the holiday.
After visiting for a little bit, we borrowed a handsaw and set off into the woods singing Christmas songs in search of the perfect tree. We expected this to be a relatively quick process, but after combing all 10 acres and not finding a single suitable tree, we expanded our search into the surrounding woods.
After four hours of traipsing through the woods, our singing had turned into humming, then to silence, then to thinking ‘whose idea was this anyway’, to verbally saying, “whose idea was this anyway”, to being in our first major marital spat, to wondering if this marriage would survive…
As the sun was setting and the temperature was dropping, we came over a little hill and there it was – the most beautiful tree we had seen all afternoon. It stood about 5’ tall, had 4 branches, one in each direction, and each spaced about a foot apart up the trunk. Picture the tree from the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon but make it taller. By this point, we were exhausted, dehydrated, and probably a bit delirious– but our search was finally over.
As I went to cut it down, Wendy must have had second thoughts because she asked, “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” I said, “I have an idea.” Even at the tender age of 18, I considered myself creative and having already helped build my folks’ new house, I was handy with tools. So, Wendy helped me cut down the tree, then cut some branches off some other evergreens as we headed back.
Once we returned to our apartment, we carried the tree and assorted branches upstairs. We had to open up the windows to let out all the pent-up heat rising from the units below (at least we never needed to worry about having to pay for heat) and I set upon my task. I got out my drill and tin snips and proceeded to drill a series of holes in the tree trunk and Wendy inserted the loose branches into the holes. After installing about 16 branches, we sculpted the shape to be perfectly symmetric from top to bottom. I even went as far as to paint the cut ends of the branches with brown model paint to make it look ‘natural’.
We poured two glasses of eggnog and cheered for our accomplishments. The day was a success; we had the most beautiful Christmas tree ever, we were still married, and it hadn’t cost us anything!
Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone. The End.
Well, not exactly the end. Do you know what happens to cut evergreen branches when brought indoors and exposed to very warm temperatures? They shrivel, turn brown, and drop all their needles. Come Christmas morning, we couldn’t even find the few presents under the tree because of all the pine needles. If it wasn’t for the string of lights around the branches, they would have fallen too.
But we were young, it was our first Christmas as a married couple, and a bright future was before us. We stood back to take in the scene, began laughing, started crying from laughing so hard, and embraced each other knowing we could accomplish anything. But vowed to buy a tree next year no matter what!!!
Read our entire Winter Newsletter here!
Tip of the Month: February
Make templates for hanging photo galleries. Trace the frames of pictures you want to hang in your home onto paper. Then, use masking tape to hang the papers on the wall, rearranging them if needed to find the desired place for each one. Once you are happy with the layout, measure where the hangers are on the back of the frame and mark it on the corresponding paper template. Gently press nails into the marked spot on the template so that when you remove the paper, you now have a mark of where to place your nail or screw. Lastly, use a level on your phone and check each picture after it is hung.