Thursday, December 04, 2008

Strung Out

I just finished putting up more Christmas lights. Last year, I was working in the ICU up until the week of Christmas, so I just didn't bother. The year before, I was disappointed to see that the strand of lights that I had bought didn't span the width of the house. When I went to buy more lights, I was disappointed that the store was sold out of the weird snowflake-style icicle lights that I had bought.

This year, I saw that Lowe's was carrying the right kind of lights, so I quickly bought another strand. I put up the lights last weekend and was agitated that I now only had enough lights to span just over half the width of the house (it's really not a big house, so this was puzzling). Today, I put up two more strands of lights, and now they wrap around to the side.

Putting up lights is somewhat of an adventure. It requires balancing a ladder in the mulch of my unevenly surfaced flower beds. While I was on the ladder, the snow flurries started. An elderly woman stopped on the sidewalk and complimented me on how she likes looking out the front of her house and seeing all of the lights. This was nice to hear as I tried to balance towards the house in anticipation of a failing ladder.

As I got around to the side, I realized that I could no longer use the more stable inverted V-shaped option of the ladder because the slope on the side of the house is too steep. So, I resorted to propping the ladder against the side of the house. While reaching up and somewhat backwards to reach the nails, I was reminded of a news report that I heard a few years ago. It was something about how the risk-taking center of one's brain typically matures at age 25. For me, this is definitely true. (Apparently this has never happened for "The Phoenix" in regards to her driving!)

Like my father and his mother, I am a true worrier. Last week, I screamed as we slowly went down a hill on the four-wheeler. Maybe it's occupation-related. After reducing ankle fractures from four-wheeler and ladder injuries, not to mention toe amputations from lawn mowers, I guess it's somewhat of a miracle that I don't wear full football gear every time I leave the house or operate machinery.

The good thing about being precariously perched against the side of my house on a slope was that if I fell backwards, I could shorten my fall by landing on my neighbor's suburban. Perhaps they had OnStar? Maybe it would automatically call for help when I hit the roof?

To my dismay, I ran out of nails for the lights about 10 feet along the side of the house. So now I have a clump of lights hanging down. Oh well, I'm not getting back on that ladder for a few weeks...


~~Silk said...

Hey new homeowner - you need plywood! You ought to have a few small pieces of 3/4 inch plywood tucked behind the washer - it's handy if they fit the size of window frames. One of the many things they're handy for is as a base for ladder legs on soft soil. Just make sure they're laid flat, pinned with spikes if you have them.

Kate said...

Now that sounds like a great idea!

ru said...

I have always been super paranoid about heights if I am on anything remotely wobbly. It doesn't matter if it's a kitchen chair or a 25 foot ladder.

Chris said...

We live on sloped clay, have portions of our house 30' above ground level, and I have acrophobia, so I appreciate your "fun". We have a 10" x 2" plank with a piece of trim nailed to it, to keep the ladder from sliding or slipping.

But we are lame arses and haven't put up decorations this year, so you are steps ahead of us!