Hey look ya'll! I got the lights up! Woohoo!
I wasn't sure if I was going to bother or not this year. I didn't last year, or the year before. And I told myself, I didn't care. What do I care ifthere are lights up on the house or not?
It 's really easy for me to talk myself out of putting up lights. So many genuinely good reason. 1) we have no small children to create Christmas Magic for 2) The jump in the already outrageous electric bill 3) Ladders. Ladders all by themselves is a reason to not do pretty much anything as far as I am concerned. 4) fear of falling. I am clumsy. That is just a fact. I always have been, I always will be. But after my fall and subsequent broken arm last year I have become far more cautious about potential falls.
And then one day last week, I stood outside assessing the no-lights situation and decided that I was going to put them up. I don't know why I changed my mind, but there it is. No lights has suddenly become absolutely of course lights. Because I know myself, I had to do it immediately, before I changed my mind. So I rooted around the utility room until I found the lights which is a good step one. Then I hauled out the step ladder and got to work.
Naturally it took much longer and was far more problematic than anticipated. That is just how these thing work. But I was remarkably patient with both myself and the project throughout. And that is new. I like it, but it's definitely new for me.
Luckily, our first Christmas here, I was smart enough to buy a bunch of those Command strips suitable for outside use. And also fortunately, completely unlike the inside command strips that didn't last, the outside ones seem to be eternal. Awesome. All I had to do was to follow the path of command strips! This was going to be done in no time at all. Hah! Why do I ever say those things out loud?
The path led one light string from the outside socket over the door an along the eaves on the south end of the house. So there I went, untangling as I went patiently putting up one teensy bit at a time, bravely climbing to the top of the step ladder for each one, then climbing down, moving the ladder over and doing it again. Until I realized two things, one: The hedge is in my way. There is a hedge beneath the set of double windows on that end of the house and the step ladder isn't tall enough to bridge over it and yet is too big to squeeze against the house and I am far too short to try to reach over the hedge if the ladder is in front of it. Dang! And two: The light bulbs hang downwards and every time someone opens the front door, the lights dangle between the screen door and the actual door preventing the screen from closing. What the actual heck ??
Was this a problem before? How did I solve it? So I had to stop and think a minute. Then I recalled two important things. One: that the original lights were very teensy and didn't block the screen door. Two: That Tim helped me that first year and we used a real ladder, not a step ladder. So I made an executive decision. No lights on that part of the front of the house. Done. This turned out to be an excellent decision later.
So I took down everythingI had already put up. Up and down the step ladder, move the ladder over and again until I was back at the starting point. All lights from this moment forward will be placed only on the north end of the house. I made the necessary proclamation and began to do that very thing. Once again, slowly, one tiny section at a time. Things went smoothly until I ran up against this:
.The sail shade. The above is just a stock photo of sail shade by the way, not ours We have just one. It is triangular and the long end runs right along the edge of the overhang to protect the front of the house and my plants from being fried all summer long. It is stretch very tautly, as it should be and as such, is immovable. I was hoping that I could just slip my hand in the admittedly very small space between the sail shade and the roof line but alas, nope. So I tried reaching over the sail shade from the other side but once again, fail. It's too far! I cannot reach. Ratz. That sail shade is going to have to come down.
So down it came and them I was able to put lights up all along the edge of the house. Then I wrapped them around the pillars of the wall outside of the courtyard and draped them pillar to pillar which also took multiple tries to get it even. But at least I could reach without a ladder. Hurrah! Finally it was done! I was very pleased with myself. Right up until I switched the lights on and found that the middle string was burnt out. Dang!
Back up on the ladder I went and took down that middle string. Luckily since I did NOT battle the lights into place on the South end, I had one extra string of lights to replace the non-working ones. Up they went, (up and down the ladder again) but eventually it was truly done this time and when I switched them on, they lit right up! Hurrah!
Of course now the sail shade needed to go back up. Back up on the ladder I went but it turned out that I don't have the upper body strength necessary to pull it taut while turning the - what's that thing called? Some sort of screw I suppose? Anyway, I couldn't do it and poor Tim was enlisted to take care of that.
Still it was done and I was so pleased with the results. Honestly it wasn't that difficult, just time consuming and very ladder-ish. That night we came out after dark to admire it and I realized that if I looked closely I could see the lights on the Christmas tree through the kitchen window:
But wait, something didn't look quite right. So I looked even more closely at the Christmas tree lights:
Do you see it? The middle string of lights on the Christmas tree are out too. Dagnabit! LOLOLOL One more project!
Up next? Christmas Cards! We are a little behind but that is Next on the Christmas Gotta do list!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.