Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Lights

Here is a picture of the old Bavon post office (actually I have no idea if it's the post office or not, but it sounds like the right thing to call it), which now sports a sign that says "Downtown Bavon." That's an oxymoron, you know, like "jumbo shrimp." A contradiction. Other than this building, the following establishments are located in Bavon: (insert sounds of crickets and howling wolves here). Bavon may well be the fiddler crab capital of the world, however. They grow 'em big and they grow' em mean here.

Like many people, I spent the days after Thanksgiving bringing out the Christmas decorations and questioning the wisdom of consuming 15 fried oysters at one sitting. Unlike many people, I waged war against my decorations--or rather they attacked me, and I was forced to declared war. (As of today, the score is Outdoor Decorations 10, Chesapeake Bay Woman 0. Indoor Decorations 5, Chesapeake Bay Woman 2. As you can see, the decorations are winning.)

The reason I have to wage war against my own decorations is because I am less than organized when I put them away each January, and I somehow think they will miraculously organize themselves over the next 11 months. (In this instance, "put them away" is defined as ripping lights* and ornaments down in no particular order and tossing them in the closest bin or bag. There is no rhyme or reason to my packing. I'm really not very patient when it comes to removing decorations. Or putting them up. Or doing anything that requires patience.)

Anyway, all this Christmas decorating made me remember a story about my mother when she was putting up our tree many moons ago.

We had many strands of those huge lights – the really big ones that came in different colors. Some of the strands were quite old. This was in the days before the three-pronged outlets. It was after the wheel was invented, and a few years after electricity (aka "current") was introduced to our county. But definitely before the days of three-pronged outlets.

My mother had to plug each and every strand in to make sure the lights worked.

On this particular occasion, Chesapeake Bay Child** felt a bit mischievous. You might even say she felt a tad wicked. A wild hair sprouted right on top of her head. She methodically studied her mother carefully untangle each strand of lights and plug them in. Then, just after that wild hair sprouted, she waited for her mother to unfold the next strand, which was a particularly old strand of lights. Right at the exact same moment that her mother plugged those old lights in, Chesapeake Bay Child clapped her hounds very loudly, trying to imitate the sound of electricity popping.

Chesapeake Bay Mother jumped back and screamed. Chesapeake Bay Bad Child howled with laughter.

Chesapeake Bay Child has very conveniently forgotten anything that happened next, but wishes to say how sorry she is for any innocent nerves that may have been plucked in the making of this story.

* - I have one dear friend whose husband uses a weed-eater to remove the lights each year from the exterior of his house. He just throws the wreckage away and buys new ones next year. When I first heard this, my first instinct was, "How wasteful." I now marvel at the ingenuity of his actions and only regret that I do not fully understand how to operate a weed-eater, and am wondering if a chain saw might do the trick.

** - It is very convenient to lapse into the third person when referencing things I wish I hadn't done or choose not to acknowledge.


Unknown said...

I only put up stuff that doesn't need organizing. My outdoor lights are intertwined with garland...can't tangle. The lights on my tree are permanently attached...all 500.

When I had a big yard, I was an expert weed whacker you put them up, I'll come take them down!

My sister used to put the big christmas lights around her house, and her dog used to bite them. He got shocked many times but never stopped.

Bayman said...

My ex-lawyer had a Christmas tree closet under the stairs in his house. Every year he would just pull it out and plug it in. It was all decorated.

tj said...

...Just readin' Bayman's comment and it reminded me of an elderly woman my Aunt knows who for over 30 years now has had her faux Christmas tree on a stand with wheels and after the New Year she just unplugs it, covers it with a Christmas tree bag and wheels it into a large closet - lights, garland, tinsel, ornaments & all. My Aunt says it looks like a 30 year old decorated Christmas tree

...I have to admit CBW that I have my decorations all organized in large Rubbermaid containers. It all came about after we moved here because we are short on storage space so we use a tiny bedroom upstairs as storage but our steps are very steep, narrow and crooked so when it comes time to decorate for the holidays it's just pull out the Rubbermaid containers, stand at the top of the steps and let 'em go! lol... Ahhh, life in an old log house. If I ever really stop and think about it it actually kinda So that's why I never really stop and think about it. I'm in denial. Yeah, denial. ;o)

...You know there ain't a kid alive who wouldn't of done that to their mother When I was little I used to yell "Stop!" while my mother was driving and she'd slam on the brakes...lookin' back I'm surprised she didn't stuff me in the

...Have fun with the decorations CBW! If it's any consolation I'm fightin' the same fight here - you're not alone sistah'! lol... :o)

...Many blessings... :o)

tj said...

...Geez, when will I ever stop with the long comments! lol... See, this is why I don't have a blog because I "blog" on everyone else's... ;o)

Big Hair Envy said...

No. You. Dit'n. I'm amazed that you LIVED to tell that story CB Bad Child.

I'm going to have to ask CB to build me a Christmas tree closet. I really dread crawling into the attic this weekend. BAH! HUMBUG!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - Sign me up for weed whacking lessons when I visit you for that technical seminar. Or maybe I'll leave them up so when you come here for the blogfest you can take them down then.

Bayman - I do the same thing with a smaller artificial tree for the kids. I keep it all decorated in the basement. It isn't worth the trouble to take it down, not to mention that involves something I do not have, namely patience.

tj - It is always wonderful to hear from you. Too funny about yelling in the car. I think if one of my kids did that to me, I'd pull over on the side of the road and let them out. Can you come here and get me organized?

BHE - Yep. I did it. I am not exactly proud now, but at the time I was immensely pleased with myself. I had (have?) an evil streak in me. I have no idea where it comes from.

Cool Breeze said...

Boy do I remember those old lights. Every year, when I was a kid, we would pull out that box with the lights thrown in. There were always old strands that never even worked during my lifetime. Why they didn't throw that crap away beats me.

You can't work a weedeater but you can operate a chain saw? I could use a little help around my place.

Mental P Mama said...

I am sorry to tell you that I am an organizer of all things Christmas when I take them down--usually the night of December 25. Each strand of lights is wrapped around its original box and placed in its own plastic grocery bag. Sorry. Therefore, Christmas setup is rapid. Takedown is not so rapid, but when done with some adult beverage, not so terrible.

Anonymous said...

Tallest midget?

Bear Naked said...

We have never put up outside lights at this house but our other one we always wet gung ho.
Gung ho--No I am NOT going there.

Bear((( )))

Bear Naked said...

WENT gung ho
not wet gung ho.
I am really putting my 2 cents worth in aren't I?

Bear((( )))
AND tell your word verification that I am NOT a polootor!

Anonymous said...

OK, I just got back into the good ole US of A and hope you haven't written about anything that requires my defense while I've been gone!

One word of advice, though...unplug lights before using chainsaw or weedwacker to take them down....

I love Christmas decorations and lights and ornaments! Can't wait to put up my tree!

Love ya!
Middle Sis

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I did this, not you.
Baby Sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Cool Breeze - The chain saw statement *might* have been for effect, however, I'd be more inclined to use a chain saw over a weedeater because I have bad lower back problems, and the weedeater kills me.

MPM - I'll leave my Christmas decorations up until the Virginia Blogapalooze and you can help me get organized. Of course that means you'll have to extend your stay here because getting me organized is no easy feat.

Soup - Yes. Plus "government worker."

BN - Sounds like the title of a really bad movie to me....or a band: wet gung ho featuring polooter.

Middle Sis: I did not write anything about you while you were traveling the Caribbean, but I will warn you that Chesapeake Bay Daughter found a box of your notes from high school in that dresser upstairs. Most of the stuff is sophomoric, but there is one letter to our cousin Julie that you never mailed that I would just love to quote...I'm still contemplating it though, so don't worry. Yet.

DEAREST MISGUIDED BABY SISTER: I have no doubt that you did this at some point, BUT I was the first one to do it. We can settle this dispute when you come here next weekend. Friday night, be here or be square. Aloha. p.s. Leave your suitcase full of lipstick in Richmond.

Big Hair Envy said...

About that ACDS basketball schedule......we need to get BUSY:) Any excuse to get together again...

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

BHE - You are right, we need to get on the stick. January 27 and 29are on the schedule right now.

Big Hair Envy said...

Very good. That will give us time to recover from Christmas before we embark on this new venture:) God help us........

abb said...

Chesapeake Bay Woman is one hell of a funny lady. That's all I have to say...

Occasional Kate said...

I'm reading back through your archives (it's now fall 09) and yes that was the Bavon post office, and after the feds closed it up, mrs. trusch bought and fixed it up real nice. I remember when it was still open in the early 90s and myself and another girl in the neighborhood would head over there and look through the discarded magazines. Fun times.