Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Since you are probably not going to be driving by our house this Christmas season I want to show you the outside lights we put up each year. This first photo is the large lighted tree shape you see as you approach our farm. Since we live in a fairly flat part of Nebraska you can see the lights from 7-8 miles away. It has become such a tradition to have it up we had people from the area worrying and asking if we were going to put it up this year as John didn't get it done until about a week later than he usually does. The lighted "tree" is actually strings of large lights and a star on the top of the windmill in the yard south of our house. John has continued on the tradition started by his dad many years ago and puts the lights up each Christmas.

John has simplified how he puts them up the last few years to make the task easier and fewer trips climbing up the windmill. He extended the width of the base of the windmill with 2x4 lumber pieces and has wrapped the strings of lights around long ropes then he carries half the strings up to the top and hooks them to the windmill with bungee cords and then climbs back down and hooks them to nails with bungee cords on the lumber at the bottom. This keeps the lights away from the metal windmill supports and makes a wider "tree". With the winds we have here there were always a lot of broken bulbs when they were banged against the legs of the windmill but now if they go out it is because they burned out so that was a good improvement. Most times he can get it all done with three trips up the windmill, one for the star and two for the lights strings.

I took the above photo from the family room window while inside the house and you can't see the star as well as you can when you are driving by on the highway. I put lights and greenery on either side of the sidewalk so those are the lights you see at the bottom of the photo. We have all the lights on timers so they run from dark until about 1 pm then have them turn on again about 5:30 until 8 am so people going to work can enjoy them too.

Last year at the after Christmas sales I purchased a bunch of plastic candy canes with lights inside. They look real pretty all marching down the sidewalk and light the way to our front door. By the way that shine on the sidewalk is ice. Most people come to our back door but I am hoping it will melt before I am forced to try and chop-scoop, what ever to get it off.

As pretty as these candy canes are the wind keeps blowing one or two down occasionally. These two have been laying on the ground for a couple of days. John has been too busy and I just don't want to go out and do it in the cold but need to get them up today again so they will all be looking pretty when our family arrives to celebrate with us. We do have a plan to change how we stand them up next year so hopefully that will solve the problem.

Warm wishes for a safe and happy Christmas where ever you are.


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