Do You Know a Clark Griswold Dad? (I do)

At first I was not quite sure I wanted to share this story.  Heck, I even thought I’d use the whole “I’ve got this friend”, but let’s be honest, it was me.  But since I am being that honest, I will not disclose if this was 10 years ago, or this very Christmas!?  That will be up to you.  One thing is for sure, without wanting to, I sure channeled my inner Griswold!


It all starts with those wonderful conversations a husband has with his wife that goes a little something like this, “Honey, just stay off the ladder and hire those lights guys to put up the lights this year.”  Sure dear, no problem…until the quotes came back that is.  For those of you that do not know, some of those companies have a $600 minimum!  Some charged thousands, but for a simple roofline and garage door outlined, the average quote was about $850.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather put that money to better use.  So, don the jeans, strap up the boots, and blow the dust off those lights boxes!


Let me just tell you, it did not take long for the “Griswold” to start happening.  My wife had warned me that the Chrstmas lights box could be a problem.  I thought to myself, she’s crazy, the lights are in one of those large, plastic storage boxes with the lid tightly shut.  You know, the style you can buy from Home Depot, big (like 4 feet long, 2 feet deep) black plastic, yellow lid, nice and secure?  Well, in the months of sitting on the side yard, something had been placed on top of it and cracked the yellow lid just a little.  Yep, after plenty of rain blowing earlier in the year, I opened that box to find about 6 inches of old rain water, the smell of mold, grimy light clips and even some rusting plugs on timers.  Oh yes, the Griswold moments had just begun!


Now I had to empty the box, start cleaning, and lay all the light strands out on the yard to dry.  I discarded everything that was just nasty and gross and now it was time to plug-in and test the lines.  Two no longer worked and were thrown in the trash, but thankfully, everything else did!


After a quick “I told you so” from the wifey, and a little Christmas music to shake-off the annoyed feeling I had, it was time to start installing!  I needed a small win to get things moving in the right direction, so I started with the fence-line.  Afterall, it was near where all the lights were laid out and it didn’t require a ladder.  I had 3 and a half strands secured to the fence when I came upon a very large bush that had grown tremendously with all the rain this past season.  It literally started growing large branches in and around the iron fence, making it impossible to finish this strand without switching to gardener mode and trimming this thing way back.  Herein lies Griswold moment #2.  I did not don chainsaw, but I did grab some large clopper’s and started hacking away at these roughly 2 inch branches.  Lo and behold, some of these branches had some spiny little thorns on them.  Youch!  Now we’ve gone from Mold and water, to drawing blood.  Not a lot, but enough to be a nuisance, just lovely.  


Did I mention that sun that dried out the lines was now long set, the temperature was dropping fast, and I’m working in the dark?  Yeah, fun.  We’re done for today.  We’ll finish tomorrow.  Not only the installing of lights, but this story.  Tune in next week for the ending.  It gets better!


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