My tree came down right after New Year’s, but the lights are still up outside. So are all the lawn ornaments and decorations. Perhaps because I don’t claim this to be “my job”? Probably more so because my husband thinks he’s Clark W. Griswold and our house needs 700 strands of lights and/or lighted wire statues, and while they’re great fun to put up, taking them down is a pain.
Which is why we are the only house on the street in the neighborhood in the city in the state in the universe to still have our Christmas lights still up.
The plan was to take them down today, after I got back from volunteering at the school. The plan was foiled by Denny’s, who offered a free Grand Slam breakfast for anyone until 2:00 PM. Of course we had to go take advantage. We put the little ones in the car, drove to the restaurant directly east of our home, saw the line stretching out the door and down the street, kept right on driving, and went to the one a little bit further west. The line there was outrageous, too, and made worse by the accident in the middle of the street, so we skipped Denny’s and ate inside The Quilted Bear, at one of my FAVORITE restaurants. It wasn’t free, but it was less expensive (and more healthy!) than eating fast food. And it’s been SO long since we’ve gone out.
The most amazing part of lunch was how afterward, Kenny suggested we mill around the store for a bit. (Normally, I can’t drag the man in there without a lot of kicking and screaming and promises of foot rubs and bribes. It gets ugly.) I wonder if he was eager to look because he knew we couldn’t actually purchase anything? Anyway, we looked at some ceramic figurines (again, totally unlike Kenny) and admired the Precious Moments and the Mary’s Moo Moo’s, and the weird patchwork Disney ones by an artist I can’t remember.
We planned to let the little ones nap and then take the lights down, but when we got home, there were two messages on the answering machine and at least six between our cell phones. Kendra had gotten hurt at recess and needed someone to come and get her, and wouldn’t you know, it would be the ONE day that neither of us thought to grab a phone. I called the school 90 minutes after her injury, and the secretary laughed it off (Thank you, Darlene! You helped to ease my guilt!) and said Kendra had decided to stay at school, after she talked to my sister the EMT. (Thank you, Kristi, for being home. And for helping to lessen Kendra’s panic.)
When I went to see her, I found out that she had fallen off the glider at recess, landed flat on the gravel, knocked the wind out of her, took a hefty chunk of skin off of her elbow, and got hundreds of punctures on her back from the sharp rocks. I learned that the glider is now banned for the whole student body, and Kendra is the reason for it. She also has the distinction of being the most badly-injured child for the month, which she is quite happy about. (Ah, to be almost-nine again…) She gave me a hug and said she wanted to finish out the day at school, even though her chest ached and she couldn’t bend her elbow.
I came home, thinking we could tackle the lights before Alex and Kendra got home, but I lost Kenny to the Wii, and now the lights will stay up for another week, until he has his next day off. (And probably more weeks after that.)
I have a dilemma. Do I admit defeat and take down all the lights myself? Do I insist that he does it? Is he waiting for me to give up and do it? Do we leave them up all year long? I mean, they aren’t rusty, broken-down cars, but it still screams “White Trash”, don’t you think? I’d ask the Elder’s Quorum to do it as a service project, but now that Kenny’s in the EQ Presidency, I’m not sure they’d go for it.
It’s February 3, and I want to look out my front window and NOT see the dangly snowflake lights.
Or the 6-foot angel.
Or the outdoor tree. (Fully lit, of course.)