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What I Did On My Thanksgiving Vacation

Sunday was my annual trek up on the roof. Every year I keep thinking that I am getting too old for this, but the smile on my wife’s face makes me climb the ladder once again.

This year took a little longer than usual. In the past we had strings of C-Cicle lights – white icicles with large colored bulbs across the top. Since it was the same artrangement with the same strings in the same places, we could get into a rhythm, taking about 2 hours start to finish.

This year we decided to finally make the move to LED lights. Boy – these things are expensive! I pray that the savings on my electric bill will absorb this cost quickly.

We were esentially starting from scratch. How many strings will it take to outline the entire house? What type of clips do we use? Which outlet do we start from?

Side note: When we built the house five years ago, we had our builder install outlets in the soffits at each corner, with timed swiches to control them. This has turned out to be one of the greatest modifications we asked for during construction. If you have the opportunity to do the same – get it done, especially if you run multiple light strands during the holidays.

Once it was determined how many strands to use, I sat in the living room and placed the clips on those strands ahead of time and laid them in the grass. Now up on the roof I go for attachment. I started by placing the clips under the roof shingles, but this caused many of the lights to roll and flip backwards, making these bulbs not visible from the street. Instead, I changed the placement of the clips to where it grabbed the metal at the top of the soffit just under the shingles. This worked great – but now all of the clips are in the wrong direction. Flip a clip, attach a clip. Flip a clip, attach a clip.

The pitch of my roof is not that steep. If it were any steeper and I would not be performing the annual “light dance”. There is still some acrobatics involved – first: walk like you are in an episode of Batman. Then sit on the roof and reach over the edge to attach a clip. Scoot backwards, reach over edge, attach another clip. All seems to be working well…until I inadvertently let go of the strand of lights at the peak of the roof.

POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP – like a machine gun as the lights popped from their clips down an entire side of the house. I had to laugh. I couldn’t do anything else at that point but laugh.

So now, the job is completed – five hours after starting, but the house is beautiful. Christina says it looks like a gingerbread house.You can’t really see it that well in the photo, but if you ever get to Palmyra, drive the neighborhood and tell us what you think.

Do you decorate for Christmas? Do you decorate for all the holidays? How sore do your hips have to get before you stop climbing on the roof to please your wife (because my hips are really sore after yesterdays rooftop workout)?

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