Well, we finally brought the Christmas tree up from the cellar this afternoon! It got put together pretty fast, with help from Warren. And then...
...I worked each branch into a "natural" form. This took quite awhile to finish - it's a 10' tree! I took a bit of a rest, and then went over to the Christmas boxes.
"What are you doing?" Warren asked, a look of fear on his face.
"I'm going to put the lights on the tree!" I replied, hoping for the next question ("Need help?") which did not occur.
"Well, isn't that nice!" he said.
Many years ago, I remember dropping by my parents' home one evening in December. I put my key in the lock and helped myself into the house. My dad was sitting on the couch, reading. "Hi Dad!" He grumbled some response. I noticed that their table-top artificial tree had been put up. I also noticed the lights and thought, "OMG! Those lights are horrible!" I walked into the kitchen, in search of my mother, who I hoped would be happier to see me than my dad was!
Mom was in the kitchen, rinsing some dishes in the sink. I saw her wiping her eyes.
"What's wrong, Mom?" I asked.
"Oh, honey, nothing's wrong. I'm just being stupid about the Christmas tree lights." she replied.
I gave her a kiss and said, "Hang on. I'll take care of it."
I went back into the living room and sat by my dad, making some small talk. Then I said, "The tree sure looks nice! Wow, those lights are really something." And they were. They were very heavily laden on the branches - as if someone had sort of dropped the whole strand and they landed, and they were done. They were horrid.
Thinking to myself that this would be a very bold move, but reminding myself that I no longer lived there so would not have to endure the after-effects of my actions, I stood up and began re-arranging the lights. My dad kept reading. I think he was so mad he didn't care if I had removed all of them. My mom stayed in the kitchen.
I worked and worked. By the time I was finished, that little tree looked all lit up, but there was not one sign of a cord in sight. Somehow, I'd woven them all into the branches. Felling pretty proud of myself, I said "Don't you think that looks a little better?" My dad said, "What do I know? Ask your mother!"
So I did. Mom came out of the kitchen and her face just lit up. "Thank you, Mary! It looks so much better! I tried to tell your dad that's not how you put lights on a tree, but he just got mad at me."
Tonight, I remembered this story as I wove the cords of lights between the branches. It was a lot of work! By the time I finished, I was sweating. Warren came over - right as I was finishing - and said, "Wow! You're a genious!"
I said, "I am?"
"Yes! It looks great!" he insisted.
Who knew? I think I learned how to be a genius from my mom. My temper, I learned from my dad!