Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Season Of Light

Well, just like that, the Christmas season is upon us. For me, it's a little hard to believe. Part of this is because of the weather. We'll hit 40+ degrees today and throughout the week, finishing at 50+ on Friday.

And I am totally, completely, undeniably fine with that. Seriously. I may even take a bike ride today.

With the holiday, comes the preparation. Last weekend, I put up our outdoor icicle lights, which constitutes the beginning, middle and end of my outdoor decorating. It involves a ladder in winter which comingles two least favorite things: heights and cold. Fearing the weather turning, I put them up last weekend when it was 32 and windy.

Today it is 40 and calm.

If this was baseball, we'd call that a swing and a miss.

Anyhow, prior to hanging them, I plugged in the lights to make sure they were all working. This is always a crossed-finger affair. Nothing causes me such angst during the Christmas prep as non-functioning lights. A few years back, I even bought a tool to help repair non-working lights because I hated the chore of checking each one.

Fortunately, there were no lights out when I tested them.

That should have been my first clue.

I dragged the ladder out and got them all hung up in about 30 minutes. Without fail, when I plugged them in a short stretch was not lit. Somewhere between the house and the roof, they decided to stop. So, it was back up the ladder. Check-push, check-push, check-push, right down the line.

Nothing.

As it's getting colder and darker, I hurriedly went looking for my fix-it gun. (No, not that gun, the one for the lights.) It seems to have buried itself deeper in the Christmas box than I was willing to dig, so I gave up. The lights will have to be less than perfect. I'm not okay with that, but at that point, I was willing to comprimise.

The next day, in what I'll forever credit as a true Christmas miracle, when I plugged them in, they were all lit. It was my Chevy Chase moment. They're still lit to this day, so Merry Christmas to me.

Listing to the left.
With the outside "done," I turned to the interior decorating. This past weekend, my wife was out of town and my son was busy with work and swim practice, so I was left to get a tree and put it up on my own. Like most men, I look for a tree like I shop. There's no time for messing around. It is for all intents and purposes a hunting event. Pick, pay, tie on top. If it wasn't for my ten minutes of indecision over choosing between a bigger fuller tree that might be TOO big, or the smaller, not so full tree that would be easier to carry and setup, I would have been out of there in ten minutes instead of twenty.

Got it home, set it up, stepped back and...

It's crooked.

Tilted my head a bit and it looked fine. Decided I'd deal with it tomorrow (today).

This morning I was going to put the lights on, but figured I should straighten out the lean first. After turning the tree, adjusting the stand tighteners, and taking my vocabulary to a new low for a few moments, I decided to put a small book under the stand to correct the lean. After fighting with that for about two entire rotations of the tree, I pulled the book out entirely. And do you know what happened?

My second Christmas Miracle in a week. The tree corrected itself. Either that or my litany of sailoresque language shocked the Frasier Fir into submission.

With the tree finally straight, and once again completely prepared for disappointment, I broke out the tree lights. I plugged them in and lo and behold, every one lit up fine.

Maybe Santa is real.

Blogging off...

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