November Seventh- Do I Dare?

I’m sitting here in the early morning sunlight with a ladder propped up against the side of the house. Why? Because I am debating going ahead and putting up my Christmas lights. Why? Its 2020, and we all need a bit of a distraction from the nightmare this year has been and what may yet be to come. 

Before my late husband went to long haul truck driving, he always was the one to put up the outside lights. He had it down to an art form. I feel good as long as I don’t short anything out or fall off the roof. When he started driving and wasn’t home to do it, I took over.

Have I ever mentioned I have this thing about heights, called fear? To watch me climbing the ladder and stepping over onto the roof has to be entertaining in itself. Then as I crawl and side step my way along stringing lights I wonder if the neighbors are taking bets on whether I’ll fall off or not.

 When I begin decorating, I will drag all of those boxes from the storage building, leaving them outside on the front porch for a while just in case of, you know, mice or something.

I’ll find the box filled with strands of light and then carefully check each strand to make sure the lights still work. Once that is done, I’ll carry the lights up to the roof. Then I’ll go back to the boxes and search for one of the many boxes of plastic hangers that I have collected. I always end up buying a new box because I can’t find any of the half dozen boxes I own, until I have all of my decorations out. Then, coffee mug in hand, I’ll make my way onto the roof to do the side step, crawl a bit, stand and stretch, don’t fall off, shuffle. 

Once I get the lights hung along the roof, I’ll start with the front of the house. I will admit to using a bit of less that intelligent methods, in that I use a plastic lawn chair as a step ladder. Which works well unless I neglect to notice I put one leg of the chair too close to where the dogs have dug a new hole. That gets interesting and the neighbor’s attention once again.

Stringing lights around the windows, along the front porch roof  and over the doors, could become a new holiday song. “Around the windows and over the doors, along the porch they go, the lights know the way to turn dark to day through the winter’s depressing gloom oh!” Well, maybe not. 

My front yard is fenced, on the outside of that fence and up my driveway, I have shrubbery. That is next. Part of the way up are regular light strands and near the end are those bush netting sets. Last year I even had lights over on a small evergreen tree that had grown quickly in my yard and a nearby Dogwood. 

The thrill of this? Figuring out which drop cords to put where to make all this work. How to string them together efficiently, safely and out of the way. Tripping over or tangling oneself in drop cords takes a bit of the fun out of things. There is also the wanting to make sure they are weather proof, because you know, rain happens.

 Once the lights are up and working, and yes, I have strung lights, turned them on and lights that worked during the initial test, suddenly did not. One year I went back up on the roof, crawled around for a while, found one of the tiny bulbs that had fallen out, then had to search for where it went. More of that crawling along the roof thing but worse because it meant spending a lot more time looking over the edge at the ground below.

Of course my dogs are not helping. Bella thinks I am supposed to toss any stick I find to her. That wouldn’t be a problem but then like siblings, Molly wants to fight over it. I spent so much time on the roof one year that Bella was actually trying to climb the ladder to come check on me. 

Then, there is battling with the timer. I will admit to not being the most technologically minded person. I will say I am getting braver and a tad bit more comfortable and capable. But that timer, I think is the work of some evil, mad scientist who sits back and watches through some weird satellite feed of my fights with this thing. All the while laughing with sadistic glee. 

But once it is all up. Once everything has been strung, the the cords and hooks and lights are in their place. When you flip that switch, or the timer is actually right, and those lights come on and brighten the night with their own brand of cheer. It makes all the effort, fear, all the bruises and scratches worth it.

 And y’all, all of that is just the lights. I haven’t even begun to discuss putting up a seven foot, artificial tree in a room with a six and a half foot ceiling.

 But you know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that yes, we do need this. We do need the distraction, the good and happy thoughts. We need to remember, even with all the lights, decorations and the multitude of other trappings, it is a special time of year. So to answer my own question, yes, I dare.

Coming to a darkness near you..

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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