Suddenly we're a good quarter of the way through December with no warning at all.
In the desert, December doesn't feel like December. There's no snow, no sleet - not even a hint of frost. It's not cold, it's not wet, it's not gray. My lock de-icer hasn't seen daylight in five years. In fact, we're lucky if we get clouds. And when we do, they're the benign, puffy kind that do little more than float leisurely along during the afternoons singing their "Tralalala..." puffy cloud songs.
The closest we've come to winter this year so far was about a week ago when it dipped into the twenties for two nights in a row. We hauled out some old bedsheets to cover the plants (although two of them died anyway) and fretted about Gato (who was one of the survivors). The temperatures have since retreated back up into the safety of the mid-fifties, having apparently completely freaked themselves out with the sheer boldness of their actions.
In order to counteract the winter blahs - or rather the "where the hell is winter?" blahs - I attempted to string up some Christmas lights on the porch this week.
So far, it's taken me three days.
Here's a synopsis:
- string lights around two porch posts
- excitedly plug in lights, pulling cord through living room window
- note sadly that half the lights on both strings are out
- re-string so that lit bulbs overlap unlit bulbs thereby camouflaging dark patches
- examine effect. Looks awful. In daylight, will resemble a hideous tangled web of green and white jungle growth engulfing porch
- give up
- remove both strings. Angrily throw strings away.
- go to Home Depot and buy two 80-foot lengths of lights and one 28-foot length because at the time this makes sense. Also buy an extension cord.
- put lights up again, this time starting at the far end of the porch with intent to encircle all four porch posts, creating jolly candy cane effect
- realize that:
A. instead of using one long, one short, and about one-third of remaining long cord which now pools uselessly at the base of the house, should have used two long cords
B. do not need extension cord because cord is way long enough to plug directly into outlet (which does not yet exist - another story)
C. connected wrong end of second long cord to short cord so that, at the end near the outlet (which does not yet exist) there are no prongs. Only holes.
D. it's time to give up
- take down second long cord in order to flip it around so that prongs will be located conveniently near future outlet
- turn lights on through living room window
- realize that, until we have an outside outlet, phone must be unplugged in order to plug in Christmas lights
- note that half of lights from first long cord (at far end of house and around one post) do not light up
- also note that, rather than tasteful, elegant candy cane lights spiraled around posts, effect is more like Christmas-light-eating monster vomited all over house
- go to bed
- note that puffy clouds appear to be laughing at me. Benign, my ass.