Thursday, November 22, 2007

The early bird catches...what?

It's Thanksgiving afternoon. And yes, I'm typing on my computer, but that's only because I'm waiting for the rest of the family to get ready for our short trip to a dinner that's sure to be a gustatorial extravaganza.

And I'm looking out a nearby front-facing window, and I see a couple neighbors laboring over Christmas decorations. Or, since I love the way the British version of the words look in print, neighbours labouring.

I find I'm stuck in the middle of a race in which I have no interest in running. The Thanksgiving turkey hasn't even reached worm-free temperature yet, and people are outside stringing already-tested lights, driving stakes for those monstrous inflatables, and monkey-gripping ladder rungs 25 feet up while they vie to see who can mount the decorations most likely to alter holiday air traffic approach patterns.
And my wife, bless her heart, as soon as she's seen these pre-emptive efforts, will start to feel the itch. And that means I crawl into the attics, retrieving boxes and containers and well-stored (meaning, inaccessible) lighted structures and sundry decorations. And tomorrow, while it will have to suffice, still will not be soon enough.

I'll admit that, once the work is done and the last string is plugged in and no dead lights remain to obscenely sully the presentation, there is a certain feeling of, if not accomplishment, then contentment that the race is over. And sure, we didn't win, but we did at least finish.

And in roughly 40 days, on January 1, 2008, when the first neighbor steps into what I hope will be the brisk wintry air of the new year and unplugs the first electrical decoration, a new race will begin.

And I do not care that we won't win that one either.

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