Well that took a while. The other day my son, Mr. Let Every Holiday have its day, told me that maybe I should go ahead and decorate for Christmas. A little cheering up might do us some good. I actually looked over to make sure it was my son that was in the car with me.
The other evening, he went down and borrowed my parent’s ladder.
The next day I found the box of outdoor lights and carried it, not too elegantly, to the porch. And there they sat. I did start checking the strands to make sure they worked, but got interrupted and everything went back into the box to wait.
Today, I knew, was going to have to be the day. It was warm, the day was clear, and I had time. I began to check each strand again. Putting the strands that every light worked over to one side, and those with issues off to a different area. When I had managed to check every strand, I then went inside to get the broom to clean the leaves off the roof.
Oh, have I mentioned, I really don’t like heights, but I like ladders even less.
Tossing the broom up onto the roof I carefully climbed the ladder and began to sweep it clear of what those big Oaks had shed so far. And no, they are not anywhere near finished, so I will be back up there again. As I swept off the roof, enjoying myself actually, my son suddenly came outside and began plugging in his leaf blower. Setting it on the roof he climbed the ladder and accused me of sweeping with a broom deliberately to make him feel bad. No, I didn’t. I was sweeping a bit, checking out the woods behind the house, sweeping a bit, looking at the leaves covering the front yard, sweeping a bit and wondering if the neighbors were taking bets on if I would fall. Still, he used the leaf blower to make short work of cleaning the remaining leaves. In the process he found where a limb had knocked a small hole in a shingle. Yeah, that will need to be repaired.
Once he finished and left, I made my own way down, tossed the strands of lights up onto the roof and then went in and poured myself a cup of coffee in my travel mug.
Then I again, made my way up onto the roof. But seriously, I would love to create something like a balcony on the roof of my back porch. Build some steps, put a chair up there, and I could sit and watch the leaves fall and the critters pass by. (Distracted writing, I’ve been told I have the attention span of a gnat)
Putting up the lights, I started on the far end of the house and carefully made my way across. I tried to make sure I anchored the lights to where they won’t come loose. I also tried to make sure not to get too close to the edge of the roof. I really didn’t want to take a spell of vertigo while up there. It took a little over an hour to get the lights the way I wanted them and to know they were staying. I climbed down the ladder, I plugged the lights in and I flipped the light switch. I stepped back farther into the yard so I could see the entire set up. Remember that I checked every strand? The very first strand that I put up, not a single green light worked.
Fine. I would have to figure that out. But then my two dogs started barking and turning to look, I saw mom walking up the path. I walked out and met her, hoping the dogs would hush and amazingly they did. Mom was in the mood to chat and chat she did for over half an hour. All the while I’m trying to give her my full attention and also figure out how to fix that strand of lights.
After she left, I once again climbed the ladder to check and see if a bulb had fallen out. When I finally got to the end of the strand all the bulbs were in place. I got my son to remove a bulb from one of the strands on the porch, I thought I would go down the strand replacing each one and see if I could fix it that way, since I don’t have a bulb tester. Unfortunately, the bad strand of lights had a different bulb base than all of the other strands. That meant one thing, get a different strand of lights and get back up on the roof and swap them out.
Back on the roof I carefully removed the anchor holding the bad lights and let them fall to the ground as I secured the second strand. Once again making my way along the roof, being careful as I went. I didn’t want to damage the roof and I really didn’t want to fall off. With the strands swapped out, I carefully climbed down the ladder. Back on terra firma I got the right strand of lights plugged in and went to try again.
Flipping the switch to turn on the lights I crossed my fingers and stepped back to check. Everything was lit perfectly. The fun thing, these lights have settings where they stay solid or flash and blink in patterns. Every strand is on a different setting. My neighbors are going to hate me.
I still have to locate where the timer is. I know its in a box in the storage building, just which box is anyone’s guess at this point. When I find that and get it set up, I’ll have the lights down the driveway working. Funny thing is, with all the lights I put up today, I still have strands I didn’t use. So once I know what is out now works, I’ll figure out what to do with the others. That and decide what of the outdoor decorations I want to put out. I don’t put out much because there are times it still gets a bit too tempting for two playful, energetic dogs.
The amazing thing, the thing I take away from days like today is, I can. Even though I’m nervous, I can climb that ladder. Even though I’m somewhat afraid of heights, I can climb up on the roof. Even though its frustrating, I can get the lights on the house and get them to work. Even when initially there may be doubt, I can believe in myself. I can get things done. Most importantly, I believe now more than ever, I can follow and accomplish that dream of getting that book written.