Rigging Up The Lights

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.

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Merry Christmas ya’ll!

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