Let's begin, shall we.
Rewind back to Saturday. The day. The day I greatly anticipate, and Ben silently grudges, but willingly goes along with anyway, because he is awesome like that, and he does like the finished product. The day we hang the Christmas lights. (insert shudder or squeal...you choose).
We were actually going to hang the lights the week before, but a storm blew in. It only heightened my anticipation for this day.
I eagerly drug the bins up from the basement, and spent the next 25 minutes untangling the gigantic ball of lights that endured 2 moves this year. Oh joy.
I got them all untangled, and literally, as I was cheering out loud for myself as I hooked the last strand in (my Christmas Vacation moment) ...POP! Out go the lights, forever. I think we all groaned. I know I did.
That should have been my sign. But me, and my type A, never leave a job unfinished, where there is a will there is a way, mind on the mission personality, only saw it as a small glitch in the glorious vision of our new home, with its insane maze of pitched roofing, glowing with Christmas lights for all of our 3 neighbors, and ourselves to see. Oh yeah. Well, there are all of those people who turn into our cul-de-sac trying to find their way out of our neighborhood, or flip a U turn. They can enjoy the lights too.
Honestly, if we were the only house on the planet, I will still hang the lights. Yup, that's me. Little Christmas Spirit, all sorts of annoyingly bursting with Christmas cheer and energy. I am THAT person. The one that all of the Facebook/social Thanksgiving comes before Christmas, and heaven forbid you celebrate them both..together....in the same season! Gasp! scrooges are boo hooing about. Live and let live people! Much bigger issues out there people, much bigger.
Back to the lights.
So, off I went to the store to buy new lights for the new house. Sugar plumbs dancing in my head. I was actually kind of glad at this point. I liked the new lights I bought better anyway.
Now, all we needed was a ladder. So, I called a neighbor. She said her husband was out hanging their lights, and would be done soon.
We waited 4 hours. The ladder sat outside their house, right where I could see it, with no one on it. I literally paced, fumed, pouted, and did nothing short of self destruct. Daylight was fading, time was wasting, my one day with Ben's help was going fast. My mission was failing. I had a job undone. And there I sat, staring at the ladder. ARGH!
So, I called another neighbor. She said her neighbor was borrowing it to hang his lights, and would bring it over when he was done. I waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing. Nadda. Zip. That neighbor just finished using the ladder, today. uh huh.
I finally decided that I was either going to explode, or I should do something useful while I had Ben home to help with the kids...like grocery shop, alone. So, I went to the store.
Right when I got there, another neighbor called. She had a ladder! And the angels rejoiced.
I did nothing short of run through the store, finished shopping (the good ol Walmart checker whining all about how she hates Christmas, and me just giving her a blank stare of astonishment) and drove straight to her house. We shoved the ladder in the car, on top of the groceries and all. Hey, we still ate the Doritos. All one million crumbs of them.
I flew home and burst in the house with the good news. No one seemed nearly as thrilled as I was. Whatever.
And we finally began! We hung what we could without the ladder first. I had to crawl through an upstairs window and pull myself up on to the tops of our smaller roof lines. I am not afraid of heights, but people, this was some seriously steep pitch, and I was scared right out of my Christmas flippin mind! I had a duty though, and a small window of opportunity, and I REALLY wanted to get the lights up, so I clipped the clippies, and hung the lights. I did what I could do, and then it was time for the ladder, oh, and did I mention that it was now dark, and the freeze your snot kind of cold. That was fun.
Well, joy of joys, the ladder was too short. Mission over. Job left undone. Time ran out. Sunlight left. I was deflated and frustrated, but had not one ounce of giving up in me.
I hopped on facebook, where there is a group set up for the people in our neighborhood. I sent out a plea for a really tall ladder.
Then, I climbed back out on the roof, in the dark, just to see if I could muster enough courage to get up on the VERY tall and extremely steep garage roof, and just do it without a ladder. I tried, and I almost slipped. It wasn't going to happen.
While I was up there though, a neighbor came home and saw me up there. I told him we needed a taller ladder, and he said he had one! And he brought it over, in the snot freezing cold and dark! Oh the joy!
I ran in and got Ben. He wasn't too thrilled that I hadn't just given up on the whole thing yet. We left Mary in charge of the babies, and we set the ladder up. Actually, we spent more time calming down crying babies and setting Mary up for success, than it took to get the ladder up.
And once we got it up...it was too short. And just to make sure I wasn't frustrated enough, the ladder extension slid down and crushed my thumb, badly. I just started using my thumb again today. I assure you I was not singing carols when that happened. I wasn't making any noise actually. The pain took my voice right out of me. I was just making all sorts of weird noises and running in circles. Ben broke the ladder down and returned it while I continued to run in circles and flap my hand around. Fun night for us. I got to look at half of our house lit up for the next 2 nights.
The next day was Sunday. I needed a ladder, and here was the chance to have a lot of people with ladders in one place. Church. Sweet! Only, due to trying to wrangle 4 kids in a bench for 75 minutes, and then the next two hours wrangling 11 six year olds, I completely forgot. Go me.
I did come home to four Facebook responses though, all neighbors who had extra tall ladders! Yes!
One neighbor brought her ladder over this morning. Right when Ben got home from work, we set up the "extra long" ladder. I was so thrilled to finally be moving forward again. I had waited all day for this.
Up went the ladder, down went my sprits. The ladder was just as "tall" as the others. BOO!!!
Ben was done by now. I guess I can't blame him. He stuck this out for a while. I, however was not. I called the next person on my facebook list.
I drove to her house, and looked at her "extra tall" ladder. It was also the same size. Rock on.
By now, it was dark again.
I had had enough. And I had a plan. I would climb to the very top of the very, very, high garage roof, where it slants down both sides. I would sit on that peak, and clip as many lights down both sides as I could reach. Then, I would throw the rest down to Ben, who would pull them tight, and clip them down there. I would just pray that the middle wouldn't sag, and that I wouldn't slip.
So, I grabbed some lights, and wriggled out the window, and made my way up on to the freakishly high roof and slid and slunked along the top and clipped away.
This took 3 tries, because of crying kids. I would start clipping, and they would start crying. So, I would slide and scoot and slunk down and back in the house, settle them down, then climb back out. They would cry, so I would come back, and so on and so forth. It was awesome on the nerves. So, so awesome.
Once I finally got the very top clipped in about a foot in each direction, it was time for the ladder. Ben came out, and we set the ladder up. Then we had to go in, to help crying kids. Then, we came back out, I climbed up and started clipping lights, while Ben held the ladder. Did I mention that he is a really good sport.
Kids crying again. Back down the ladder, back in to the house.
Back out again, change the ladder length, move the ladder, climb up the ladder, start clipping.
Kids crying and time to take Mary to cheer.
And so, this is how the night went. Ben grumbling under his breath, but still doing it, for me. I so married up. Me, determined as ever, and so excited that my plan was working, but oh, so frustrated with crying babies and constant interruption to my plan of Christmas bliss!
Finally, I had about 2 feet of strand left, and just as we began to move the ladder, Bam, Luke is crying.
Ben went in to help Luke, and I went to pick up Mary.
I rushed home, all ready to get that last strand up, I came into the house, and found Luke AND Ben, sound asleep.
I kind of, sort of, loudly walked around our room, hoping against all hope that Ben would just wake up, spring out of Ben, dance outside, sing carols, and happily set the ladder up one last time for me.
He didn't move a muscle, and I didn't have the heart to wake him up so he could trudge out into the freezing dark again, in order to shorten or lengthen a ladder again, stand there holding the ladder again, and be subject to his wife and her Christmasy ways at 9:00 pm on a Monday evening. So, I let him sleep.
I, however, marched outside and there sat 2 feet of dangling lights next to a gorgeous house of beautifully placed lights.
Talk about falling in front of the finish line!
In some last ditch desperation, I attempted to move the ladder myself. It wobbled to and fro, over my head, and I ran back and forth trying to balance it out. I ended up dropping all 25 feet of that metal mass onto the driveway at 9:00 at night. The echo was amazing, and yes, the neighbors came out, yet again, to see if the crazy light lady was still alive. I smiled and waved and yelled Merry Christmas. They went back inside. Ben snoozed away. Amazing!
So, I got Mary. Maybe she could help in some way. We got the ladder up just high enough to almost break off the garage lights. That was fun. I thanked Mary, and sent her back inside to get ready for bed.
I finally gave the ladder one last solute, and a kick, and marched back inside.
And here I sit. Our house all aglow in Christmas glory, with 2 feet of lights hanging from the roof, staring at me, challenging me, and absolutely no way for me to fix it.
Ever heard the term, hanging candy in front of a baby. Yup.
And so, the saga continues on.
Moral of the story:
Buy a flipping ladder. A VERY tall ladder, which means taller than 25 feet.
Merry Christmas. Good night..