Last year, I lamented the fact that I didn’t hang up Christmas lights. The problem was two-fold: I was stymied by snowy weather and a torn-up yard courtesy of a sewer line repair. This year, I vowed not to wait so long and promised to hang them up on a weekend in October when the weather was nice.
When a suitable weekend rolled around, I opened the garage door, stepped out onto the driveway, and stared up at the roof. WAY up. It’s about 20′ high there, or 3.52 Mark’s to put it in better perspective.
A moment later, Tara joined me and we gazed skyward together.
“Sure you want to do this, babe?” she asked, no doubt sensing my
terror trepidation over climbing up a tall extension ladder with nothing to break my fall but concrete.
“You know, the weather’s not all that great,” I said.
“It’s sunny and 72º,” my too-observant wife replied.
Damn it, I thought. There’s never a cloud around when you need one.
Nevertheless, I mumbled some excuse about not being “those neighbors” who hung their lights up way too early, so she let it ride and I was off the hook.
When I came home from work on Friday, our neighbor Kelly’s house was festively decorated with twinkling Christmas lights.
I’m doomed, I thought, and fervently began praying for snow. Amazingly, Saturday morning it did indeed begin snowing…but that only lasted for 90 minutes, and nothing stuck on the ground. Today dawned clear, and by late morning it was 45º. I had no excuse not to haul out the ladder this time, so I did exactly that, even though Tara assured me I didn’t have to climb up there if I didn’t feel comfortable.
“I’m perfectly fine, babe!” I lied.
“Then why is it taking you 30 seconds to climb each rung?”
“Your knees are trembling.”
And so it went. Only, it didn’t go, because our fancy extension ladder is very heavy and difficult to maneuver. I had to screw in cup hooks beneath the eaves to hold the lights, and managed to make three trips up and down the ladder, but yeah…it was scary AF. I kept dropping the hooks, which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that my hands were trembling, so I grabbed a drill instead. That worked better but meant I could only hold onto the ladder with one hand instead of two, which only magnified my terror. And then a strand of lights came loose, and we had trouble positioning the ladder, and finally just decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.
I know you can hire people to hang Christmas lights, so I put out a request on Nextdoor for recommendations. I really want to have lights this year, but I’m not going to risk life or limb to hang them. The holidays are a lot less merry if you’re dead.
Still not sure if I’m writing every day this month…