Sidebar from the usual post about writing…it’s Christmas! We have to share about decorating – don’t we?
It takes me 3 days to get done – and the lights are always a challenge. I lose my religion over lights. Bad words come out of my mouth that make a sailor sound downright innocent and pure. As always, and having learned from previous decorating events – I test ALL the lights. The inside tree? After it fell over one year and then stayed only half lit the next year, I’ve learned. It’s ALMOST problem free, almost. Nowadays, I split the lights in half – about three strands are daisy chained at the top and then I use a different extension cord to connect the next set four strands for the bottom. My bravery in going to a fourth set pushed my nerves towards that frenetic state, but I gritted my teeth and pushed on. Yeah, yeah, I know they make the ones now where you can connect 6 altogether, but I ain’t invested in them yet – gotta use the ones I have till they ain’t workin’ ya know. This year, the inside tree behaved. Bells rang and I had a moment.
Next, I went to the outside stuff…and with all of my tested lights in hand, I began to decorate a couple trees (it’s those cedar type bushes that grow in that perfect shape – I think they are called Arborvitae, but who cares, really.) Anyway, these trees are about 10 feet tall – so I had to use a ladder – and I’m afraid of heights. My determination knows no bounds when it comes to getting this done, however. I start at the top. I do both. It takes a couple hours – at least, because I climb up and down a gazillion times and test.
Finally, I get my little extension cords and with everything strung together, I went to flip the switch. While bent over at the outlet, I realized I had shut my eyes – plus I needed to breath. I opened them and prayed I wouldn’t blow the electric panel box inside or knock all the lights out in the neighborhood from the flood lights, the two trees, and a few candles. Hey, it’s an old neighborhood with a fragile infrastructure. It doesn’t take much. FLIP.
I want you to know…those trees were beautiful! I stepped back to admire my work. Lovely. Just lovely. I turn away deeply satisfied. I felt so good about how it all looked I had to turn back and look again. Don’t EVER be too satisfied – when will I learn that? Why? Because don’t you know, one of the trees was now only 1/3 lit!!! The BOTTOM only. WTF. I stomped over to said tree. I threatened it. I told it I was going to chop it’s decrepit self down. I began to jiggle cords. I cussed. I jiggled more cords. I cussed some more. I unplugged at various points and plugged back in. Just when I was on the verge of committing hari kari on the tree, <poof> lights came on.
Why did I feel like there was some “presence” laughing at me?? I looked around sheepishly. Did anyone see me shake my fist at this stupid tree? I glared at it. I dared those lights to go out again, D.A.R.E. D. them. I backed up. I took a deep breath. The lights stayed on, twinkling merrily. My religion returned. I praised God. I decided the “toothless wonder” who rides his bike up the alley, leering at me, isn’t such a creep. I believed the air felt crisper. I began to sing “Jingle Bells” and thought I sounded better than Mariah Carey. I believed I could make it snow. I believed I could move objects with my mind. I believed. Then, I went inside and had an unbelievably large glass wine.
Merry Christmas ya’ll!