Gravity is a helper. It brings things down to the ground. It does not help get them off the ground and into boxes, but that initial plummet can be quite useful. This is especially true when it comes time to take the Christmas lights down. A great many of them were placed high up in tree branches where a month of wind and rain had failed to knock them to the earth. On one side of the yard, I was able to take the end of a string and simply unwind it from the bottom. Not exactly dangerous, but the potential for dizziness was very high. On the other side of the yard, I had set myself up for a much greater adventure. Climbing up into the branches, I tried to recall just why I had made such an effort to create the tangle I was now encountering. I spent almost as long undoing the display I engineered as I did dismantling it.
That's the way these things go. It gives me a modicum more understanding for those who choose to leave their lights hanging from their eaves and wrapped around their shrubs all year round. That's not the choice I make. I'm much more of a "clean-slate" type guy. After New Year's Day, I feel the need to clear the air, or at least the part of it that hangs above my front yard. Hundreds of feet of twinkling happiness needs to be wrapped up and put in a great big box, waiting for the sun to dip a little lower in the sky.
It is also time to do a little inventory. This year was especially hard on the LED strings that I placed strategically out in front of my house. When all was said and done, there were four coils of plastic bulbs that failed to light, and no amount of fiddling or fuse fussing would bring them back to life. I was proud of the effort they had exerted right up until Christmas Eve, then things started to fall apart. All of that sparkle and glory was dimmed by a bit, but there was still light in the sky.
And on the fence. And the side of the house. I do well primarily because I live in a neighborhood that doesn't compete. There are a couple of windows down the street with some twinkly windows, but ours is the house with the show. And now that show is over. When I ride home after dark, I won't be able to find my home via the electrical glow. The stars fell on Alabama, and my front yard. Then I had to pick them up again. Until next year.