had a thought for our new house. An inspired moment.
few years ago, we were moving. It was going to be a fairly slow
and drawn out move, giving her time to really consider the details
involved in where some things would go and how others would be
placed. (Insert that inspired moment here. My phone rings.)
there still an old wooden ladder in the garage?”
I don’t think we ever took it down. In fact, I don’t even know
if it comes off the wall.”
get it and figure out how to bring it here.”
thing about that ladder. We didn’t know it existed when we first
moved into that house. Really. It was on the wall of the garage,
hung in a weird fashion off in a rarely visited corner as we made
that move, and the aging of its wood blended with the framing
of the garage. It was several months before I was organizing stuff
and hanging some things up in that particular area that I suddenly
realized there was a wooden ladder there.
that conversation, the ladder has been moved several hundred miles,
lightly sanded and stained, then hung on the wall of our basement
all-purpose sitting room to achieve Terry’s vision for it. It’s
used as a display shelf for pictures. And, along the lower edge,
a combination of artificial vines and clear Christmas lights are
used as accents.
looks amazing. (Especially when lit up. These aren’t Christmas
lights in this particular use, and they work wonderfully.)
the past several years, I think all of us have seen the use of
Christmas lights expand in incredible ways…
uses have exploded. Nostalgia feeling with retro designs. Colors
and novelty lines. Indoor and outdoor, hanging icicles and cascading
uses have grown. Orange lights for Halloween. Red, white and blue
for Memorial Day and July 4th.
the use of those old-reliable clear classic Christmas lights has
entered mainstream decorating ideas. Sure, wrapped around the
side of a ladder in a basement. Also wrapped around the railing
of a deck to create atmosphere during use on summer evenings.
Used for glow, and to lightly heat some potpourri also inside
a mason jar or other container.
past a neighbor the other day. Some of those cascading icicle
styles were lit on one corner of the house. A bit out of place
almost four weeks into the New Year and five weeks beyond the
holidays. Still… as we’ve seen… the lights aren’t just for Christmas
anymore. But what point marks the difference between brilliant
design innovations and put-it-away-already beyond appropriate
simple answer could be found in the area of intent. A summer barbecue
with an illuminated deck does not scream winter holiday styling.
Trees lit up around a still-making-evening-appearances inflatable
Santa in a sled on January 20th has obviously overstayed a welcome.
But things are rarely simple.
friend of ours leaves his lights up throughout the year. He doesn’t
light them all year. His reasoning for having them in place is
more practical. After struggling with the strings of lights, often
precariously balanced while leaning off of a ladder while trying
to secure them along the roof and siding, only to do it all over
again when one section fails to light up (even though he tested
them before placing them)… yeah… he’s decided against pulling
them all down to store only to repeat the exercise again the next
time the holidays approach. Look closely, and you’ll see his shrubs
and trees and fences wonderfully set up with lights waiting for
their next performances.
has a theory about holiday decorating. It involves putting things
away, and basically captures the frustrations of the items you
miss. There’s always at least one thing that gets overlooked.
About a week ago, I wandered into the spare bedroom. In the corner,
on a chair, a holiday moose wearing a very festive scarf. Picked
it up, and our holiday cleanup was finally finished for this year.
often stunned… pleasantly so, and equally inspired… to see some
of the things people do with items that seem to have limited applications.
You wouldn’t think an artificial tree and shivering snowman would
work during the summer, and then you get an invitation for a Christmas
in July party.
have an Eeyore and other lawn decorations that have been stored
since we moved. Just haven’t been inspired or motivated to attempt
setting them up only to battle below-freezing temperatures and
piles of snow to take them down. Someday we will. Someday. (Maybe