Monday, January 07, 2008

Merry Winter

During my lifetime the month of January has been kind of ugly here in the heartland of America. People will un-decorate their Christmas trees and drag them stump first through the front door, turn right, and then about half way to the truck give up and drop the tree right there in the side yard. It's there to stay. Now add to that dehydrated relic the lights on the house that have begun to sag because of the large icicles that they now must support and add to those, the string of outdoor lights that are still out there somewhere under the snow. The very string of lights that set that boxwood on fire last week. This scenario has been playing out for years but is now being upstaged.
As of late, mankind has made big improvements in Christmas by way of inflatable decorations. These are brightly colored, have lights inside of them, a blower motor, and some even have small pieces of Styrofoam circulating inside supposedly to look like a blizzard. And there can't be anything more heart warming than a giant snowman listing 22 degrees to starboard. Also nothing says Christmas to me like Santa's reindeer pulling a deflated Santa and his sleigh.
Don't get me wrong, I like beach balls. But as Christmas decorations they don't cut it out here on the farm. The biggest problem is that now, in the month of January all of the extension cords have been swiped to plug in the diesel pick-ups leaving the yards to look like poorly managed landfills half buried in 4 inches of fresh snow. And then there's the wind to contend with. The biggest problem out here on the Missouri River bottom is our visibility. Okay, it's not the visibility. It's the fact that our view is unobstructed. By trees. There is nothing to stop the wind unless a coyote pokes his head up out of his den. I don't care how well you anchor a Christmas inflatable, it won't survive. What started out as a meaningful manger scene complete with Peanuts characters, soon resembles a Christmas painting by an impressionist. "What the heck is that supposed to be?"
And who's going to put all of this away? I think it's awful the way our friends and neighbors fail to keep their yards picked up. Besides that, I have news for them, next summer, mowing into these Christmas beach balls or extension cords overgrown by 6 inch long grass will almost always trip a breaker on the electrical panel. And hitting grilling tools like brass brushes and long handled spatulas, or even lawn sprinklers will only serve to dull your lawnmower. And the mower could throw an object at the house and damage the new siding.
Not that I would know.
I always pick things up.


Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Laughed pretty hard at that "Not that I would know" statement.
The guy down the hall stopped by yesterday and said his wife had bought eight of those 5 foot reindeer with lights. Right after Christmas she wanted them taken down. He took them down. Last Sunday she came charging into the house and interrupted the football game - her and a neighbor or two didn't like the way he "stacked" them in the garage - no, I didn't ask. Just another reason not to decorate.

Flip Flop Momma said...

funny stuff as normal cliff..

ya no, last year my neighbor had her inflated xmas snoopy in the yard still at easter...

thats just not right..

Janell said...

You're right - those inflatables tend to get a little drunken looking toward the end of the season. And I'll bet the lawn mower blade does just as much damage to those flat beachballs as they do to toes!

Rachel said...

Must be quite windy there Cliff! It's been windy here as well, but warm like spring! I have seen some of those inflatable items and the air all gone and there they lay, all sad looking.

I'm so glad you keep your things picked up!! Hitting something with the lawn mower is one of those sounds that makes the stomach queasy as you wonder what it was you hit and what damage was done.

Cliff said...

Yeah Rachel, and I always wonder how long it's going to take to unwind everything out of the 3 blades on my lawnmower. Sometimes it can take a while.

terah said...

Cliff, it seems like you're trying to make a point here. Are you hinting that you wish someone had given you an inflatable snowman for Christmas?

Jamie Dawn said...

I love the imagery you paint in this post.
I can see the unobstructed winds reaking havoc on those silly inflatables that have no chance whatsoever of survival.
The rule for yard maintenance is this:
The more acreage you have, the messier you can be.
Junk spread out over a lot of ground looks better than lots of junk crammed onto a small front lawn.

Your granddaughter's photo over at Paul's place is absolutely adorable beyond adorable. I need to make a new word for that which would be the complete opposite of hitonious. I sent a link to my parents so they could see that darling photo.
They have a soft spot for babies like I do... and apparently you do too.

JunieRose2005 said...

HAHA-Cliff...I was just about to ask how you would know so much about all this stuff!!

Well, I am way behind in getting my Christmas stuff put away- inside the house - and we did very little decorating outside. just a wreath and one string of lights on the front door!

As for those blow up yard decorations... I don't like them at all - not even on their best days!!

Take care,


Jerry said...

Now you know why I had just the three electric candles in my window for Christmas decorations.

Less, is more.

Lisa said...

AH - the inflatables. There is a house not far from me that I used to call "the invasion of the cardboard cut-outs". They have now discovered the inflatables. So much so that they have expanded into the neighbor's yard. I'm sure the people in the neighborhood would love for them to mow the "Christmas Beach Ball" and would even offer to buy new mower blades for them. I know I would.

I agree with Jamie Dawn. Your granddaughter is adorable. What beautiful eyes. She must get that from her grandmom. Just kidding.

Paul said...

I'm with Jerry: less is more. We never put up outdoor lights during our marriage. The kids wanted to a time or two, but I made them watch their neighbor friends struggle to de-Christmatize their houses. They decided that indoor decorations was plenty.

By the way, you will have all those cords and such all cleaned up by Blogstock 08, won't you? Wouldn't want to trip over something while I've got a plate full of BBQ.

Peter said...

Stuff is easier to find if you only have to look around the dented house siding though Cliff.

Kendra Lynn said...

I hate those big snowglobes....yucky.
Last year it took us forever to take down the Christmas lights....hoping this year isn't the same.
How's life?


Gette said...

You should save the inflatable yard deco and put it out for Blogstock as a kind of Christmas-in-July theme. I can contribute a Santa, a snowman, and a couple plastic penguins.

Greg said...

Ask Old Blue next time you see him how a dog can help with the lights on the house. He was so proud of that....well, I can't use the exact words he did because of this being a family oriented blog and all, but lets just say he was really proud :)


1 plus twins said...

"not that i would know" when someone uses that statement they are surly covering something. too funny!!

Lucy Stern said...

Cliff, I hate to tell you this, but I hate those inflatables. You won't find one of them in my yard. The only decorating we did this year was the Christmas tree and a manger scene on top of the piano. The Christmas tree is still up and we will probably take it down this weekend. Good luck finding everything after the thaw..LOL

LaDawn said...

Here in the UK, thankfully, the inflatables have invaded (yet) so I haven't yet had to deal with that.

I didn't hang up any lights outside this year using the whole saving electricity to save the planet excuse. It worked! Hope I can keep that up for a few more years.

nora said...

okay, okay - I'll take down my lights today, after my nap.

Sue said...

There is a house down around the corner from us that has so many decorations we have named it the Griswold house. As in the the movie with Chevy Chase.

Sandy said...

Every morning during December I woke up to see a deflated GIANT Santa and also an elf laying on my neighbor's lawn. The first time I witnessed this, it scared me thinking that my well behaved cats had attacked dear Santa and I knew that it was going to cost me a bundle, but later that evening the Santa & elf were standing erect again. I soon learned that this would become a daily routine.