Hanging Outdoor Lights
Last week, we hung Christmas lights outdoors. The weather was unusually warm for late November, short balmy days still full of heat. Surprising.
The warmth drew us outdoors to begin decorating though we won’t turn the lights on for a while yet. On the veranda, we placed the bushy evergreen wreath with twinkly white lights; on the pergola, we spread thirty-six feet of rope lights, all in white, all securely fastened. At the front door, we set up two small evergreen trees covered with tiny white lights. On the Fat Albert Blue Spruce, we can see from our kitchen windows, we spread out five sets of LED lights in red.
But five sets weren’t enough. Fat Albert Blue Spruce has grown; my, how it has grown. So off we went to the hardware store in a panic. Would they still have the same lights this year? They did. We bought two more sets and laid them among the tree branches, then turned them on to take a look. Hmmm, not quite right, still too many bare spots. We went off again to buy one last set. There, finally full and lush with lights, the tree was looking good.
Today is more like real November weather, cold with bitter wind and a hint of snow in the air, just a hint. All day the wind has rattled at the windows, buffeted the walls and sent dry oak leaves shooting straight up the sides of the house. And the wind has thrashed the Fat Albert, unsettling the red lights. The erratic gusts have redecorated the tree; lights now hang like garlands or have fallen to the branches below forming nests of red bulbs. Not damaged, just different
Tomorrow, if the wind settles, I’ll drag out my small step stool to extend my height, and my stick with a bent nail on top to extend my reach. I’ll begin again to nestle the red lights into the tree and corral the strings which are trying to escape, on wings of wind.
Hanging the Christmas lights outdoors often takes more than one attempt each year. The winter wind entices anything that tries to stay put or tied down, whistling and singing “Come with me.”
Yet, some years, the twinkling lights are just as wonderful when they are hung by the wilful wind.
Words and photo are copyright © Carol Steel