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man with santa hat decorating house outdoor carport with christmas string lights
Columns Small Talk

Small Talk: Hanging on to the past

I might have spiders in my hair.

That should bother far more than it does, because if I did snag some visitors in my hair, it’s from hanging Christmas lights.

Thirty years ago, my doting father hung our first holiday lights on our then-new house. Because he was wonderful, he also carefully put bent nails all along our roof overhang. From then on, hanging the lights was a breeze.

I rejoiced in this every year, because Christmas, every stitch of it, falls to me.

My husband is nonchalant as to whether holiday things happen or not, so if I wanted Christmas lights up, I had to hang them. Because my dad had to hang them for me that first year, I think he knew I’d be grateful for anything that made it all a bit simpler.

However, this year I got to stick my head up among the spider webs twice. I didn’t realize when we got our new roof in August, they had to replace the wood that held the nails.

I got a little teary-eyed when I realized my daddy’s handiwork was gone. It was always a happy memory of his love.

Then I grabbed a hammer and got busy whacking in new nails. I am still a bit amazed I managed it without a seriously damaged finger or two.

Halfway through the nail replacement exercise, I did find some of the original nails were still intact. That may be my best Christmas gift of the season.

But, even after my flurry of activity with my head in the eaves, our house didn’t light up right away.

I needed a new extension cord. I managed to weed-whack my way through one and my husband mowed his way through another this summer. That explains the nagging feeling that I needed to do something, but couldn’t remember what.

I do feel that the season has been appropriately launched, though, simply getting some outdoor decorations in place. Excuse me while I check my hair for daddy long-legs and get a head start on wrapping gifts.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer on a holiday roll. Contact her at [email protected].

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