Tree Lady decks the highways for 26 years
If you're driving through the southeast part of Iowa you might notice evergreens decorated like Christmas trees. A lady, near Ottumwa, has been decorating trees for the holidays for more than 26 years.
84-year-old Joyce Smith has been decking the highways. Joyce tells KTVO that she can't even begin to count the number of trees she's decorated over the decades.
"I wouldn't even be able to say," Joyce said, "because starting out I got 150, all by myself.
At first, Joyce was doing this project by herself, but 7 years ago she married her husband, James Eugene.
He tells us he doesn't mind helping his wife embellish the evergreens with ornaments, tinsel and stars.
"Yeah I like it," James said. "I'd just be sitting at home watching television, if I wasn't doing this. I love to hear these kids go by, they roll down their windows and they just as happy as a heart!"
The Smith's often get a lot of attention. They tell us drivers honk and sometimes turn around and talk with them.
Joyce can still remember when a state trooper thought the couple needed help!
"It was a cold day," Joyce said. "I had a hot water bottle with a towel wrapped around it and I had my hands getting warm. He stopped and he said you having trouble? I said yeah, I'm having trouble with my hands getting warm. So he looked and he says you're either crazy or a dedicated fool."
So far the couple has already decorated at least 60 trees this holiday season. They say they try to do at least 15-20 trees a day.
The 'Tree Lady', as many call her has decorated all throughout Iowa and even parts of Missouri.