-,-`--ivy--`-,-

 

The Outdoor Christmas Lights

For years, my father was reluctant to put Christmas lights outside the house. He maintained that they were garish and commercial and that the inside Christmas tree lights showing through the living room window were sufficiently festive. Finally though, he agreed that a single string of tasteful (blue only!) lights around the then small Blue Spruce (we could straddle jump it) in the front yard would be appropriate.

And he liked it. Yes, the blue lights were decidedly good. In fact, Dad maintained that the Christmas Light tour bus chose the close-by cross street to go up the street to our right (where the really festive houses were) so that the bus tourers would see our stunning display too.


                             |  |
                             |  |    __________
                             |  |   |\_________\
                             |  |   ||      .| |
                             |  |   || |))(||| |
                          ___|  |   \|_________|
                        _____ ()|
                             |  |
                             |  |     
                             |  |  
                             |  |
                             |  |
                  ^   _______|  |
                 /o\            |
                 7 ~____________|
                /o  \            \ (    )  )      (  )
                7 \~o_____________\)         (        (
               /   o \____________|___(___)______(___)___
               7 o   ~_____________\     )   )     (
              /o  /   \____________|
              7/ o 7  ~            `
  ejm         /7   | o\ `             `
                         `               `
                           `                 `



                                |
               ^             |  |
              /o\            |  |    __________
              7 ~            |  |   |\_________\
             /o  \           |  |   ||      .| |
             7 \~o           |  |   || |))(||| |
            /   o \       ___|  |   \|_________|
            7 o   ~     _____ ()|
           /o  /   \         |  |
           7/ o7   ~         |  |     
          / /    o  \        |  |  
          7 7    \ \o        |  |
          / /  / o  \        |  |
          7/  o7    ~ _______|  |  (       (         )
         /o          \          | )    )     (     (   (
         7   o/    \ ~__________|    )   (      (   (  )
         /  / 7   o  \           \ (              (  )
         7          \~____________\)         (        (
        /      \   o \____________|___(___)______(___)___
        7        o   ~_____________\     )   )     (
       /o o/ o     \  \____________|
       7/  7      o   ~            `
 ejm   /7    1999  \ o\ `             `
                         `               `
                           `                 `
The blue spruce grew and another string of lights was required... and then a few years later, more strings of lights. Then one year, disaster struck. There were NO replacement blue lights at the hardware store. We had to use a different colour on the spent bulbs. But Dad can roll with the punches and he announced that a few odd splashes of other colour would only add to the tasteful quality of the outdoor tree.
And the tree continued to grow and more strings of lights had to be purchased. It grew some more and even more lights were required....

                  ^
                 / \
                 7o\
                /IIIII 
                7  Ho~  
                // H o  
                77 H o~  
               //  Ho \   
              7/  oH  ~   
              /7 o H/  \   
              7   oH \ ~   
             /   / Ho   \    
            7/  7    \o ~   
           / 7     \    \o
            /    /      o 
           o7    7  o    ~
           /   o       \ \
           7 /           ~
          /o 7  /        \
          7   o 7       \ ~
         /       /  o     o\
        7    /  7     \  o ~
        /    7     \  o     \ 
       ~  o   o/ ||    \    ~
  ejm            ||
And then the ladder wasn't tall enough to get the lights to the top of the tree. But my dad is a resourceful engineer. He made his calculations and knowing that if he stood at the top of the ladder and threw with exactly the right arc, the end of the light strand would land perfectly at the top of the tree. Rats. It didn't work. Undaunted, Dad went into the garage and got the small comb rake. He put the end of the string of lights on the end of the rake and pushed the lights up to the top of the tree. Perfect!!!

Well, almost perfect. There was no way to get the lights down at the end of the season AND the rake was stuck in the top of the tree. There it remained with the lights for several more seasons.


And the rake grew with the spruce....



The problem of what colour(s) the lights should be was resolved. The paint on the bulbs faded and the tree was covered in white lights (at least those that were still burning). At night, nobody could tell that the tree was twice as high as the lights. And even during the day, the rake could hardly be seen by the ever growing Blue Spruce.





Then one spring day, Dad suddenly decided he NEEDED the rake. He borrowed the next-door neighbour's long ladder, climbed up, disentangled the rake and the spent lights and climbed down again. Now the tall beautiful spruce stands unadorned and beautiful, lit only by the multicoloured lights on a nearby low growing shrub.
             

                  ^
                 / \
                 7 ~
                /   \
                7o\ ~
               /IIIII\
               7  Ho~
              /   /   \
              7/  7 o ~
              /7  H   \
              7   H\o ~
             / /  H    \
             7 7 o/    \~
            /     7     \
            7 /   Ho  ~
           /  7      \  \
           7   /     o   ~
           /   7  /o     \
           7      o    \ ~
           /    /   o     \
          7  /  7    \o   ~
         /   7     \    o  \
         /       /        o\
        o7       7    o    ~
         /   o    o    \   \
         7     /           ~
        /   o  7  /        \
        7       o 7      \ ~
        /       /     o   o\
        7    /  7    \   o ~
       /     7     \  o     \ 
       ~  o   o/ ||    \    ~
  ejm            ||




               ^
              / \
              7 ~
             /   \
             7 \ ~
            /     \
            7     ~
           /   /   \
           7/  7   ~            __
           /  7    \              |
           7    /  ~              |
          /     7  \           |  |
           7       ~           |  |
          / /      \           |  |    __________
          7 7 /    ~           |  |   |\_________\
          /    7    \          |  |   ||      .| |
          7 /       ~          |  |   || |))(||| |
          / 7       \       ___|  |   \|_________|
          7         ~     _____ ()|
         /       /   \         |  |
         7/      7   ~         |  |    ) o(    (o     o(   
        / /           \        |  |  )o     o o    o(  )
        7 7        \ \~        |  |   ( o o   )o o   (  (
        / /   /       \        |  |(oo   (o o        )  o (
        7/    7       ~ _______|  |  (o o    (     o  o) o (
       /               \          | )    )o o  (  o  ( o (
       7        /    \ ~__________|    )   ( o  oo( o (  )
      / /     / 7      \           \ (oo  o    o    ( o)o o
      7 7     7       \~____________\)  o  o   (     o o(
     / /         ~     \____________|___(___)o__oo_(o__)___
     7 7       /       ~_____________\  o o)  o)  o  (oo
    / /        7     \  \____________|
    7 7 /               ~            `
   /    7 ejm1999       \ `             `
                           `               `
                             `                 `




To Christmases Past "The Tree"
To Christmases Past "The Outdoor Christmas Lights"
To Christmases Past "Decorating the Christmas Tree"
To Christmases Past "The Christmas Pudding"
To Christmas letter 1996
To Christmas ASCII-art
To Christmas gif art
To Homepage

<>>8<<>8<><>8<>8<<©ejm1999>>8<<>8<><<>8<>8<>