Posts Tagged With: Christmas lights

If a Tree Falls…

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful for the weird occurrences in life that give it flavor and spice. This morning provided just such an occurrence.

Here’s a question for you.

If a tree falls in the living room and no one hears it, did it really make a sound as it crashed to the ground?

We bought our “fresh-cut” pine on Thursday evening and immediately brought it home securing it in the tree stand filled with water and some preservative. It stood four entire days regal and proud, its scent filling the house with memories of forests and camping and the wonders of nature.

I’m not sure why we didn’t decorate it right away. Oh yes, now it comes to me. We were busy. Very, very busy. Who isn’t this time of year?

I thought I saw our Christmas tree listing to the right a bit as we strung it with white twinkle lights and placed ornaments on it last night. But MSH assured me it wasn’t going anywhere. Even as it leaned a tad bit more, he assured me again.

photo-18 copy 29

What I saw in the living room this morning!

So, no surprise to walk in the living room this morning to see a Douglas Pine splayed sideways across the end of the glass coffee table, ornaments thrown about the room in what was apparently a spectacularly rapid and explosive fall. There’s a strand of lights caught on the ladder we had left out to finish up with today. Luckily, or miraculously, the glass table top isn’t cracked or broken.

Not so fortunate broken glass ornaments populate the carpet. I really don’t want to have to buy more ornaments. That would mean shopping, of which I am not a fan.

I’m thinking this is one of those years that we get to somehow attach the tree to the wall or ceiling so we don’t have to deal with this mess a second or third time.

About six years ago we had a tree that didn’t want to stay standing. After three falls and three big carpet stains from the sap and water in the tree stand we secured the tree from two points on the wall with heavy-duty twine.

I’ve heard of people simply hanging the tree from the ceiling. I’ve known of some who place the tree in the play pen to keep the toddler out. I’ve never seen anyone actually have to tie their tree off to keep it upright, although I’m sure we’re not the first to have to do so.

I had been leaning myself toward having no tree this year, but was nearly voted off the island by MSH and the kids who thought that would be too depressing not to have a Christmas tree.

But this, is more dispiriting. Work that we spent hours on has to be redone. And that’s aggravating, frustrating, infuriating even, if I let myself dwell on it too long. It looked so pretty last night. White lights glowing. Gold, clear and silver ornaments reflecting the light. The Angel at the top overseeing the work of art we’d created shone with approval.



My Favorite Hallmark character Maxine

My favorite Christmas cartoon ever is a Hallmark card featuring The Crabby Road Lady. Maxine says:

“Christmas is just plain weird. What other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat candy out of your socks.”

Boy is she right. It is a weird holiday when you think about it that way. Oh sure, I know the meanings behind it all, I’m all into the symbolism of stuff (see yesterday’s post.) But still, on the surface of it we must look pretty strange doing some of the traditions we do. Maybe I need to stop being quite so much like Crabby Maxine in how I look at things.

The tree will stand again.

max on sled

Can’t you just feel Max’s little tail wagging with excitement?

We’ll approach the task with less excitement tonight, maybe after watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” just to put us in the right mood. I love Max the Grinch’s dog. He’s such an optimistic little soul in spite of everything he deals with.

Maybe I can try behaving more like Max. Smiling, my tail wagging, happily caught up in part of the adventure no matter how weird or warped or inconvenient things might get.

Without a few catastrophes, breakdowns, and it-only-happens-in-the-movies moments, our life would feel fairly ho hum instead of ho ho ho.

Maybe if I keep channeling my inner-Max, life might get to sound like Hallelujah more often.

However you look at it, my life’s blessed with spice and flavor and plenty of variety both good and bad.

I hope today you’re feeling blessed in some little and big ways. And I hope a bit of Max lets you feel a wag in your tail today.

And, may your tree stay standing, too!

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Holiday, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Connect The Light Bulbs

Lately, I’m only partially aware, only half-awake, my eyes shaded to most of what’s going on around me. It’s like part of me in is the room and the other part of me got left somewhere else.

Is it intentional?  No.  It’s probably lack of quality sleep and being off my routine. Or, maybe it’s hormonal. Or not. Maybe I need more chocolate. Or less.  It could be I’m dehydrated most of the time, since I don’t think diet Pepsi and hot chocolate count towards daily water intact.  Or could they?  Maybe I’m lacking a specific mineral in my diet, so I’m taking a vitamin supplement.  Perhaps I need more exercise. (My daughter doesn’t need exercise. She chases an 18 month old energizer-bunny toddler around all day while her med school husband is off slaying dragons.)

I digress.  I digress a lot lately.  That thing you do when you go to get something but can’t remember why you are in the room you’re in, so you walk back to the spot where you had the thought that you needed something in order to help you remember what you were doing?  I do that far too often lately.  Like, hourly. Like, way too much.  Slows me down, ruins my groove.

I sit down with paper and pen in hand to create a menu for the week and from there a grocery list. I come up blank. The connection from point A in my brain to point B in my brain has a short.

English: Closeup of a string of decorative Chr...

Closeup of a string of decorative Christmas lights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Actually it’s probably more like those strings of Christmas lights my son helped me hang on the house yesterday.  One bulb missing or broken is okay.  The string still manages to stay lit.  Two bulbs out, half the lights won’t come on. Replace the missing or broken bulb and voilà a whole string is working again. It’s a little miracle to me, since I don’t understand electricity.

Now the house looks great and thanks to the stellar design of outside plugs under the eaves and indoor switches, all I need to do is flip a switch and the house is lit up all red and green and cheerful.

I need a “brain on” switch. My brain probably needs a loose bulb snugged into its socket a little tighter.  Or maybe one of my neurons cracked and needs replacing. Maybe a few mental bulbs are out along several different strings.

If only a brain fix were as easy as those lights from yesterday’s stringing exercise.

The energy required to make my brain work more effectively isn’t, unfortunately, something I can plug into with a wire and socket.  It’s something much more elusive than that.

When I let myself be in nature, breathing fresh air, that’s one of my electrical cords connecting me to the energy of the earth, to beauty, to life.  I try to plug into that often, but that’s slipped lately. I’ve been busy!

Magic in a Bookstore

Another power source for my brain is reading, usually.  Although lately, reading has been of the audio type and requires less brain power and perhaps less of the written word is absorbed. But  I don’t know.  I’m rambling now.  Rambling happens often lately too.


This is someone named Maria.  I don’t look this good in a fedora, or anything else for that matter. (Photo credit: tamara.craiu)

Recently I was in a bookstore as part of a treasure hunt.  Dressed in a fedora, sunglasses and a trench coat, I was to wait until being located by a gaggle of girls, then hand over a clue to each group that found me.  Very few people looked at me oddly, which I found strange, since I’m certain I looked questionable.  The best part of this was having an entire hour to peruse bookshelves filled with newly minted books. It was nirvana, bliss, heaven and grace all packed into one hour.

When my assignment was over, I ended up buying a book.

It was a real book, not an audio one. Hard cover, with a dust jacket.  I took it home and read it that night.  Yes, I concentrated long enough to read it in one sitting.  Short book. But packed to the brim with wisdom and insight that I’ve needed to learn.

It’s a keeper. It’s one of those books I’ll end up writing in, with exclamation points, underlining, commenting, question marks, maybe even cross-referencing. No, I won’t be lending out my copy.  Well, maybe, but you’d have to promise not to read all the margins or make any of your own notes.

The book is Anne Lamott’s “Help. Thanks. Wow.  The Three Essential Survival Prayers.”   This one sentence speaks to my current need for brain-power and clarity.

“In paintings, music, poetry, architecture, we feel the elusive energy that moves through us and the air and the ground all the time, that usually disperses and turns chaotic in our busy-ness and distractedness and moodiness.”

Some of the energy I need is in the created world, not just the natural world.  And the energy in that is readily dispersed by my overly scheduled, multi-tasking, transmission-challenged but driven life.

Perhaps if I slow down, notice the beauty around me in the architecture of a wall, the care in the moulding of a door frame, or in the design of a freeway bridge,  I might touch some of that energy.  If I take time to hear the poetry in a song, or the music itself, or actually read a poem, I might connect a loose bulb in my head.  The lights may reignite mentally if I allow myself time to experience art in diverse places and ways.

String Light

String Light (Photo credit: felixtsao)

Energy is captured in the beauty and art in my life, just waiting for me to plug in to that brain enlightening power.

What better time of year than now to look for the light and energy that surrounds us, to gather it in instead of pushing it away. Maybe I can do that.  Maybe I’ll get all my mental light strings lined up and glowing again. I can try.

Categories: Books, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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