Friday, December 4, 2009

Lights! No Action!

The other day, I read that Douglas Adams' widow had commented that he "hated writing but loved having written," or something like that. I can relate when it comes to writing, but also when it comes to the white lights on the maple tree out front. (Those are last year's in the photo.)

I love them. They get me through the winter. I adore coming back from a walk or ski at dusk and seeing them on. I love sitting in the living room and seeing them out the dining room windows. Love, love, love.

I detest putting them up.

Last year, when I was crippled, Rob did most of the work even though he hates the whole idea, thinks it's a waste of our precious natural resources (electricity, his time, his sense of humor). This year I'm on my own again. Today's the perfect day to put them up, because it's warmish and calm, and I've been talking all day about This Being the Day and Well, Gonna Put the Lights Up Now and Yup, Here I Go, Going to Get The Lights Now.

I had to work this morning, of course, but now it's almost 2 in the afternoon and am I on a ladder? Nope, I'm blogging. And you KNOW how much I like to blog. (See the weeks of silence below.)

The trouble is, it's a MAPLE tree. Not a nice, cooperative spruce, which you simply drape in lights and no matter what you do it looks OK. Also, because I live with Mr. Paranoid T. Fireman, I'm only allowed three strings of lights. Which was fine ten years ago, but the trouble is, maples GROW. Every year, I must tap more and more of my minimal store of hand-eye coordination to keep these lights from looking sad and lame and overworked.

Also, there's the crisis of conscience involved. The lights take a beating out there in the wind and snow and ice. Even if last year's team seems to be working now it's quite likely that, come January, an entire string will go out when the world is an iceball and I can't replace them. This will cause me angst.

So I do tend to go out and buy new ones just to be on the safe side, which is extravagent and environmentally incorrect. I'm determined not to do it this year. But of course I haven't gotten last year's lights down from the attic and tested them yet, have I?

Right now. I'm going to do it right now.

After I order the turkey for Christmas. Wrap a birthday present for my friend Shelly. Defrag the computer. All worthy and necessary things, don't you think?

If I put this off long enough, spring will come.

EDITED TO ADD: Anytime I write about procrastination, I send up an apology to the ghost of humor writer Robert Benchley, who retired the subject back in 1949. Here's his take on it.


Sandi said...

So...did you get your lights up? I've been saying for the past 2 hours that I'm going out to do the Christmas lights. Yep, any minute now...

Ellen Booraem said...

NO!!! I got them down from the attic, though. Do I get points for that? And I didn't even think about them today and I can't do them tomorrow. Monday afternoon, maybe?

Peppergnome said...

We have some of our lights up, across half of the front of the house. Looks silly, but we've lost motivation to finish the job. Maybe it won't be so cold tomorrow.

Ellen Booraem said...

That's the trouble--it's so easy to lose the motivation in the middle, and if I stop I'll never get back to it and it will all freezed in place and we'll just have to live with it.

Why do we DO this to ourselves?

StarlingUK said...

Are they up yet?

Ellen Booraem said...

Go to bed, woman. It's the middle of the night where you are.

Sandi said...

*taps foot expectantly, crosses arms, and fixes Ellen with a stern look*

Ellen Booraem said...

er. no. And now there's snow all over the branches and...and.... *tries to look cute.*