Thursday, December 13, 2007

Angles alight

Angles alight, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Every year our kids (Caitrin, to be specific) nag us to hang lights on the house. Every year we promise to do it. But you see, we have this two story nightmare that requires risking limb and life in order to hang them from the rooftop. For the first several years of living in a home, we hung the lights indoors so that the windows were lit up from within (and so our empty living room holding one Christmas tree would escape inner darkness since not a lamp could be spared for the otherwise furniture-less space).

The only real use of the living room at that time was "belly-ball," a game we played nightly where Jon made up rules faster than we threw a ball at each other's heads.

Once we hauled couches and coffee tables into that space, the twinkle lights moved outdoors. The trouble is, however, that neither Jon nor I have any artistic sense whatsoever when it comes to dressing a house for holiday cheer. My attitude is pretty much - throw those cords with bulbs on them over a bush or across a doorway, plug them in and see? Pretty lights!

This year we hit a new low. We didn't want to spend a whole $2.50 for a second strand of white lights on white cords. So we dug out the accidentally purchased racing icicle lights and decided to climb a ladder to hang them.

A caveat: Ladder climbing is one of those tasks neither the tall nor the short enjoy in our family. During our engagement period, a tall male friend fell from a ladder and was paralyzed neck down. In high school, I fell from a ladder and was rushed to the ER where I rec'd care from hott 20 somethings... at least, that's all I got out of it.

The point remains, we fear ladders around here. So Jon, who wouldn't climb to the top of the ladder, sent me up to the tippy top... because since I am not 6'4", I have to be on the tippy top in order to reach the apex of our door's entry way while he could reach from one rung down, though more precariously... apparently. He did hold the ladder for me and for that I am deeply grateful.

Basically we were reduced to this method of light-hanging: hammer a nail into the siding about 1/8" deep, fling the icicle strand over the top hoping not to dislodge said nail (we did dislodge several, in fact, which ricocheted off our heads), drape remaining strand in general direction of corners, scramble down ladder before tripping over feet in clogs (not the best shoewear for ladder climbing, I discovered) and thank Vastu Shastra, the Indian God of the doorway, for protection .

When we finally plugged the lights into the outlet, we were stunned to discover that they were on acid! These little lights don't know the meaning of "Silent Night." They look like the bili lights of a nightclub! I can't stop laughing every time we turn them on. Correction: every time they turn the neighborhood on. I wondered why we saw street walkers in our shy little suburb. Now I know!

Anyway, Caitrin is thrilled. She sat watching them for a full fifteen minutes one night. Sometimes daring and personal risk outweigh artistic sensibility.

Red light, green light Christmas

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