Category Archives: Holiday Lights

Riding in Cars

Bad Drivers

Bad Drivers

The holidays are always stressful, and we find ourselves going places with family members we don’t often ride with.  I have to confess that I am a terrible passenger.  They aren’t doing it right, going too fast, and not paying attention.  I am, of course, without peer as a driver.

I have been in several accidents but there were always extenuating circumstances.  The people I ride with have had less accidents, but they are lucky.   I just do not understand why they won’t follow my lead and drive properly.  My gentle, caring suggestions go unheeded and are often received with hostility.

Oh, the injustice, the way they treat me when I have the best of intentions.  I only wish to share my vast experience and expertise.  Unfortunately, I have to resort to cowering in my seat as they recklessly endanger me with their driving.  They especially resent it when I stomp on my imaginary brake pedal when they aren’t stopping when they should.

This is bad for my mental health, forced to live with the fear and anxiety they create in my delicate psyche.  The worst part is not being allowed to express my panic at being put in one life-threatening situation after another.

Christmas Eve we went to see Theory of Everything, one of the best movies I have seen in some time.  On the way home, Steve drove us around the University Park area to look at all the wonderful Holiday light displays.  It was difficult to enjoy the lights knowing my life was in danger with the reckless 10mph driving I was forced to endure.

DrivingI do prefer to drive, but my family members, usually loving and caring, are united in disliking my driving.  I always resolve to be especially careful when I have passengers, not honking or giving the finger to other drivers, but no one seems to appreciate my selfless generosity.

Is there no justice?  Am I doomed so suffer at the hands of my loved ones?  I only want to do what is right and good.  (That sentence seems familiar.  Oh yes, George III.)  I find myself driving alone, meaning I am always searching for ways to help other drivers improve their skills.  They seem unwilling to learn.

Oh, well, I guess I will just have to take other’s driving as a test of my equanimity.  It is strange that the tests come so often.

Holiday Decorations


?????????? Carol and I have always been ambivalent about elaborate holiday decorations.  We have had natural trees, artificial trees (boo), and now a little painted plywood tree made by a former coworker.  Decorations go on the mantel; there are colorful magnetic ornaments on the refrigerator door, a Santa on the stand in the foyer, and a Menorah in the front window.


Holiday Lights

Holiday Lights

The big one is the 20 foot tall tree in front of the house.   A few years ago something inspired me to light the tree.  This entailed quite a project.  The tree is between the street and the sidewalk, so I had to tunnel under the sidewalk to install a two inch pipe for the electric cord.  We didn’t want a cord tripping people on the sidewalk.  I dug, I pounded, tried a water jet,and dug some more.


The pipe is in, is capped and doesn’t show most of the year.  After Thanksgiving I run a long extension cord from the tree, throughout the pipe, and up to the outlet on the side of the house. We decided to be old fashioned and use large colored bulbs rather than the mini lights popular today.  Seven strings of lights for that big tree.


Next comes the hard part, getting those lights up.  We have a big lighted star on top.  Several seasons of trying methods have come up with the solution of putting the star on a stick and bungeeing it to the trunk.  The problem is getting it up there without killing myself.  That tree is TALL.  I have wobbled on the top step of my eight foot stepladder, tried to place it with the long hooked pole I use for hanging the light strings, and prayed, while Carol is on the ground crying and wailing.


This year I drug out the 20 foot extension ladder after deciding my life was worth breaking a few branches on the tree.  It turns out there is a sturdy side branch in just the right place to support the ladder.  I firmly believe I have a guardian angel.  Without that angel I would be dead many times over.


Menorah and TreeWith the star up, is is just the matter of winding those strings of lights around the tree.  Carol holds the string, and I put a kink in my neck placing the wires around the tree.  The whole process took three hours this year, and I am still alive.  The timer lights the tree from 4:00 PM to about 10:30 PM.


More neighbors on our block have lights, and it is festive out there in the evening.


Happy Holidays!  Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All!