“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas lights.”

It really poured last night. The rain pounded the doors and windows. I got soaked. How did I get soaked you ask? Well, it was Christmas disaster number 2: the saga of the front outside lights. They didn’t light last night. The side and back were bright with color, but the front was dark. I put my sweatshirt hood up and went to the outside outlet. The timer wasn’t on; the outlet was dead. I reset it, plugged in the timer and the lights went on. It was a miracle. I got back into the house and turned around just in time to see the lights go out. I went outside and did it all over again to no avail. The outlet had gotten wet despite the cover. What to do? What to do? I took the timer out back and plugged it in an outlet on the deck. The timer still didn’t work. Did it short out I wondered? I came back inside to find out my kitchen lights didn’t work. I went downstairs to the circuit box and flipped switches. While down there, I brought up another timer and the longest extension cord in the world. I pluggedthe cord into a living room outlet, passed it behind a table so it wouldn’t be on the floor where I would definitely trip on it and fall then I took it out the front door and behind the bushes to the cords. I plugged the cords into the new timer then the timer to the world’s longest extension cord running out the front door. Everything worked. The only problem was the front door wouldn’t close over the cord so I left it ajar. At this point my sweatshirt was soaked and so were the hems of my pants and my shoes. I know I could have avoided everything and stayed inside, but I just couldn’t take half a lit house. Before I went to bed, I went outside and unplugged the extension, rolled it up as I went and brought it inside the house so I could shut the door. Today I’m hoping the outlet has dried.

I am going to decorate my tree today. Yesterday I slid it close to its resting spot but left room in the back so I can put the lights on without a struggle. Okay, without a struggle? Who am I kidding? I know that somehow something will go wrong. One year, after I’d put on all the lights, they all blew out. That was the year of the dark tree. Others years the trees fell; those were the years of the crooked trees. Another year the tree I’d bought to support the girls’ track team starting dropping needles at an alarming rate. That was the year of no tree.

Despite it all, I love Christmas. I love having a tree and sitting and just looking at it. I love Christmas carols and sugar cookies shaped liked snowmen. Today I’m going to decorate my tree, and despite everything, I am still an optimist. I have the highest hopes.

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24 Comments on ““I’ve learned that you can tell a lot a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas lights.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    The saga of the front outside lights,
    as men of old (and the Roches) have sung:

    Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light
    And usher in the morning
    O shepherds, shrink not with afright
    But hear the angel’s warning. […]
    The power of Satan breaking
    Our peace eternal making. […]
    Grant us ere long in glory
    With praises to adore thee.

    • Kat Says:

      I’m sorry to say I was singing an entirely different song though “The power of Satan breaking,” comes close.

  2. sprite Says:

    Our tree is crooked this year and I hope to try to right it tonight. It should be safe either way, as we always tie our tree up to something stationary, like the curtain rod. (I had trees fall on me twice growing up, so I know this is a Smart Idea and not just me being overly dramatic.) Once I’ve ascertained if the tree can be fixed, I’ll put the last box of ornaments on. The tree is looking a bit bare, but no one else I know would be able to tell…

    • Kat Says:

      I agree it is a smart idea. We had trees fall when I was a kid, and my dad took to wiring it to the windows on each side of the tree.

      I’m up to putting the ornaments on, the last step before I stand back and admire my tree!

  3. im6 Says:

    This is completely off topic, but what the heck…

    Hope you and MDH were able to catch the Michael Bublé Christmas special on TV last night. Special guest was Rod Stewart and he was in especially bad voice. Plus, he’s really freakish looking. He and Bublé are approximately the same height yet RS’s head is approximately 30% larger. Very strange except I’ve heard that many famous people have larger heads than most people (see Mick Jagger). If you missed it, perhaps you can catch it on demand if you subscribe to cable.

    • Kat Says:

      I actually didn’t realize it was on. I must have watched something else, like a movie, as TV didn’t offer much.

      Now you have me curious about that head. The bad voice I expected but not the big head.

      I’m going to be checking the heads of famous people for now on!

      • Hedley Says:

        Im6, we have the opportunity to buy Rod – Winwood tickets for April 2013 at the Palace. rolling in at a modest $160+ a ticket, I have decided to pass.
        I thought gigantic head syndrome was something to do with PEDs or excessive steroid use. Terribly surprised to hear he was in poor voice. My cousin experienced Rod in Basel and was treated to a one hour show and eight minutes of Christmas songs.
        Right, back to the HSN to see our boy warble and sell.
        Happy Christmas

  4. Hedley Says:

    Katmah, Should we live in fear that Thursday will be Ravi Shankar Tribute Day ?

  5. im6 Says:

    MDH beat me to it. I figured you’d see the news during No-Coffee Wednesday, but came to post this link: http://music.yahoo.com/news/indian-sitar-virtuoso-ravi-shankar-dies-92-045723085.html

    This is pretty accessible for Western ears: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4PM5X0shYc

    • katry Says:

      Thank you, im6!
      I listened and even found that one a bit grating. I’ll maybe just send people to that link and not post any. I am just not a fan.

      • Hedley Says:

        You are so nice Katmah, that was just plain brutal.
        Supposedly Harrison was introduced to Shankar by the Byrds and was under the influence of LSD. Harrison’s concert for Banglesh opened with ol’ Ravi twanging away and it went on and on and on and on rendering the album almost unplayable.
        Lets get some Christmas Rod out – at least we can all have a good laugh

  6. Kat Says:

    Do you have a Christmas Rod request? I will dedicate it to you so no one will think it was my choice. Perhaps I could pair it with a Christmas Dylan and warn people.

    • Caryn Says:

      I think I would take Ravi over Christmas Rod.
      BTW, I’ve seen Ravi Shankar in concert twice and thought he was quite good. And I wasn’t even inhaling anything the second time. 😀
      Anyway, it’s always sad when we lose a master. Some magic goes out of the world.

    • Hedley Says:

      On December 20 1973, Rod Stewart and the Faces appeared at the Granada Cinema Sutton. It was a tiny theatre and as soon as Rod came on he encouraged everyone to head for the stage. Hundreds of kids were climbing over the back of the theatre seats and I ended up very close to the front. I believe it was the only time that the theatre was used for live music and supposedly the heating system was damaged beyond repair.

      Anyway, the number one Christmas Song in Britain has always been a big deal and so part way through the show Rod announced the Faces new Christmas single which was, of course, “Pool Hall Richard” . It rocked, the place went wild but it didnt get past Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everyone”

      Any new Rod-Dylan Christmas combo would require an significant health warning to all the Katnics.

      • Hedley Says:

        Oh, and Pool Hall Richard peaked at number 8

      • Kat Says:

        My Dear Hedley,
        You are right-a Rod-Dylan day should come with a warning about possible health impairment.

        I had to go and find Pool Hall Richard and Merry Christmas Everyone. I don’t know what was number 1 here at Christmas in 1973.

  7. Morpfy Says:

    today the 12th of Dec. is 12.12.12 writen out and 12 days till Christmas.

  8. Hedley Says:

    And then, of course, Jack White was on Conan on Monday night – Blunderbuss is my album of the year. The video is absolutely amazing and puts our old friend Robert Palmer to shame


    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Thanks to you I am always introduced to new music!!

      • Hedley Says:

        I loved the girl band.
        im6 and I dont necessarily agree on the best music of 2012 but at Chateau MDH most plays have been Jack White’s Blunderbuss and Richard Hawley’s Standing at the Sky’s Edge. The new Dylan, Muse, Van Morrison, Fagen I have enjoyed but they have not held my attention – I know musically ADD

  9. Mark Anderson Says:


    If you must fool around with things like “the longest extension cord in the world” – please get yourself a little, portable GFCI (ground-fault) outlet from the hardware store to plug it in. And, when circuit breakers trip, try to find out what caused the problem before turning them back on. Please?


    • Kat Says:

      That is the one outlet which I know gets wet. The plug doesn’t allow the cover to close and we had torrential rain. That outlet has had the problem a while. I replaced it once, and it seems I need to replace it yet again. It is working right now after the sun dried it today.

      I will get the GFCI just in case! I will not one to disregard good advice.

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