I had a little internal debate going about decorating the tree. But it was already the second week of December. If I waited til the next weekend, it didn't seem like the ornaments would be on the tree long enough to make it worth the decorating. So I haul out the lights, untangle the lights, test all the lights, and put the lights on the tree.
Every year, I put the lights on wrong and have to do it over. This year, amazingly enough, I did it right the first time. Go me!! While the pizza was cooking, we put on ornaments. Jupiter stole some to put on Foursie. After we ate, I went out the the kitchen with plates. While I'm rinsing them off, I hear CRASH. Tinkle Tinkle Creak.
"MOM!! IT WASN'T ME!!!"
I know it wasn't her, actually. I actually thought I saw the tree wobbling a little bit while I was putting some of the ornaments. But it was such a little wobble I thought I was imagining it. Not so much, apparently. In the living room the tree is laying on its side. A gallon of water from the tree stand I had just filled is pouring on my carpet. I go to survey the damage. Yup. It fell over, alright.
Swell. I try to pick it back up. It stands up as long as it's totally leaning in the corner. Otherwise, it falls over. I stick it in the corner until Jupiter goes to bed. Then, since it has become apparent that I would need to undecorate the tree, I take off all the ornaments and stick them in a box. I leave the lights on the tree, but not plugged in. I lay the tree back down and take it out of the stand.
The tree doesn't go all the way into the stand. No wonder it fell over. There are a bunch of bottom branches keeping the tree from fitting in the stand. I ponder the whereabouts of my clippers. I remember that I brought them to my mother's house when we were doing her tree. They're still there. I go out to the garage and retrieve my mini hacksaw. I start to saw a branch. The hacksaw blade comes out of the hacksaw.
I hold an end of the hacksaw blade in each hand and saw that way. Branches start to come off the tree. I saw off a lot of branches. I try to shove the stand back on. I saw off more branches. Now I have water, tree needles, branches, and sawdust on the carpet. The cat peeks around the corner and runs away. Finally, finally, I get it all the way in the stand. I try to stand the tree up. It falls over. I take a stress break and watch John Glenn orbit the earth in The Right Stuff. I wonder how so many of the actors in The Right Stuff were also in Apollo 13. I reposition the tree in its stand and tighten the screws again. This time, it seems straight. And solid.
I plug in the lights. Some light up. Some turn on and off in a wavy kind of dance. I inspect the lights and find some that either broke when the tree fell on them or when I may have stepped on them trying to fix the tree. Since the broken lightbulbs in the flammable tree don't excite me, I decide it would be prudent to buy all new lights. So I have to take the lights off the tree. But at least I'm pretty sure the tree is solidly in its stand now. I am positively yanking those lights off the tree, and the tree doesn't budge.
We put on new lights Monday afternoon. Thursday evening we put on the ornaments again. It's been three days, and the tree has not yet fallen over. Knock on wood.
And every year, I insist on a real tree. I like the smell. They smell nice. And the cats like having a real tree in the house. Any cat I've ever had is convinced the tree is for them. They lay under the tree and stare up into the branches. So far, none of my cats have ever climbed my trees. Autumn is new...I hope she doesn't try it.
2 days ago