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Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Hanging of the Wreath

My 6'5" husband is terrified of heights.

I know.  Hilarious.  He IS heights.

He is taller than me on a ladder.

Anyhow, because of this very genuine fear, I get the task of hanging our wreath out our second story window.

I am not scared of heights in the least.

I am, however, scared of falling.  Or more specifically crashing through the ledge.

The "ledge" where the wreath hangs is about18 inches wide.  It's is made of stucco.  In our home contract it said very clearly "The second story ledge is for decorative purposes only and is not designed to bear weight."

Well, let's just say I may not weigh as much as a bear, but I am no petite flower, either.

Also, stucco- or sucko- is very scratchy.  As is plastic fake pine garland.

If I can walk you through how this process works every year....

I shake out the wreath.  Half the needles fall off.  The downside of living in the desert-- everything dries out.  I then determine if it is worth saving.  This year, yes.

I test the lights.  It's a long strand because when we used 2 strands, I accidentally put them up so that 2 female ends matched up.  Oops.  We were good to go this year.

I then remove the broken screen.  It is broken because I yanked it out 7 years ago and quite honestly, we keep forgetting about except for twice a year-- when we take it out to put up the wreath and when we pop it out to remove the wreath.

I then go out onto the ledge.

This year, I faced an additionally obstacle.  Pigeon poop.  LOADS of it.  Earlier in the year we had a little nest.  Of course, before I started to brush it off the ledge I yelled down to my husband and daughter who were working on the other outdoor decorations in the garage

"Look out!  I'm brushing off the pigeon poop!"

Which naturally caused my husband to come out of the garage and yell up:


And, then of course, he got smacked in the head with dried up pigeon poop.

"Um, I was telling you to look out for the pigeon poop that I was brushing off."

I do not think his thank you for the warning was particularly heartfelt.

So then I get out on the ledge.

The dog, a retriever, now decides that this is the perfect moment to play fetch.  I kid you not.  So as I'm hanging out there, my knees grinding into the stucco, she brings the tennis ball to the window.

"Um, Skip, can you please get your dog down?"

And naturally, Skip the Gifted, takes the ball and throws it.  So the dog returns it.  Because that's what retrievers do.


So he throws the ball. Again.


I have now begun the process of winding the garland around the railing.  It is scratching the crap out of me, but so far, so good. 

My husband was below. laughing at my game of fetch with the dog.  Because at this point, I have given up on Skip's ability to handle it and now I am playing fetch with the dog, while hanging out the window.

Then we have to center the wreath.  I need Mr. I'm Terrified of Heights's assistance with this.

We do our normal "a little to the left... no your left... turn it a bit... that's too much...." and my knees are now bloody stubs.  It's like kneeling in grits.  I saw that in a movie once.

Throw the ball.

"How's that?"  I yell down-

"Looks good!"

I put on the ties-

He yells  up--  "It moved..."

frackety frack frack...

"And now?" I asked in the pissy I'm-hanging-from-a-ledge voice.

"Um..."  because he's walking a fine line between me losing my shit now, while suspended on the ledge or losing it later when we leave and I see that it's crooked and blame him for not telling me....

"FINE!  How's that?"  I am such a bucket of sunshine while my knees are shredding and my heart is racing for fear of crashing through the stucco ledge.

And here's the dog.  Throw the ball.

"Great!"   he says.  And I can tell he's not lying. 

Now it's time to put all the ties on.  Skip is tasked with handing me the straps.  At this point he decides to have the conversation about why the sky is blue.

No joke.

He thinks it looks bluer at the ocean because the sky reflects the water.  I explained that the water is actually reflecting the sky.  And could he please hand me a tie.

No seriously, water has no color.  Yes, that is a fact.  Water is colorless.  Yes, if the sky were red, the ocean would look red.  Would you please hand me a tie?

Seriously, Skip, this is not the conversation I want to have right now.

My husband is in the driveway laughing.

Then my daughter who has now come upstairs to join us in the fetch-wreath hanging game says- very loudly-

"WOW!  That little ledge can hold your big ol' butt?" 

My husband adds "Just when I think she can't say anything funnier..."

Yeah,  she's freaking hilarious.

After 45 minutes of wrapping, repositioning, fetching, tying, I get it done.

The wreath is hung.
Now the obvious comments are "Why not get a ladder?"  Our driveway is too steep where we would need to put it.

Or even better-- "Why not hire someone to do this?"

Never.  Because the annual hanging of the wreath is a family tradition.

You have yours, we have ours.

Now excuse me, while I go put on the bandages and first aid cream on all my scratches.

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