Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Lights Debacle Continued

Okay, this lights story has an end, but not without some drama, like all things in our lives. A was insistent on getting that tree decorated, and I was a bit coy about the fact that I had found the lights and they were en route. I had managed to keep it a secret until about three days before the arrival, and even when they arrived and I started putting them up, they didn't really know. I received two more strips and though they were a different brand, figured they were compatible because they were the same lights. I had to undo the previous decorations so I could attach the new strands, then begin to put them back up in more efficient manner, delicately balancing efficiency and aesthetics.

I took about an hour, but it was worth it. Now our tree was finally finished, and we could show it off to my in-laws for a fun and festive holiday.

Of course, it wasn't going to be as simple as that. The kids were thrilled that I'd not only managed to get the lights up, but that I'd pulled it off in such a clandestine manner. A&N gave me a pat on the back for pulling it off, and I was glad I could come through. Then, out of nowhere, I looked out the window, and the lights were off. I checked the switch, then to see if the plug had come out, but they were fine. It had to be something with the lights themselves.

I was so bummed, after all that drama. R came home from work and asked if we could turn the tree on, and I told her the bad news. Bummer. We couldn't really investigate the matter until the next day, so there was still hope.

The next morning, I checked the lights, and discovered, happily, that there was a fuse blown. I replaced it, and voila, we were back in business. At least for about 15 minutes, after which the light went out again. Clearly there was a problem, and I pegged it to the new lights. I figured they were not compatible, and something had to be done.

So the next morning, the day before everyone was to arrive, I went out to the tree, pulled all the lights down, and came up with a new plan. BTW, pulling them down was much easier than putting them up. Funny how that works.

I separated the old and the new, put the old ones on a big shrub near the big tree, and the new strand on the crab apple tree in front of the house, which came out like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. How fitting. Because they were both much smaller, it made it easier to install, especially for the vertically challenged like myself. I say it over and over, but when you're doing home improvement, it helps to be tall.

I got it done in time, and best of all, it met with the approval of the kids. I'm not sure if anyone else even noticed, but it didn't matter. We were happy with it, and we were finally all set for a fun and festive holiday with family. What else matters?

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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