December 1, 1999

Beginning of the Road

By Dane Sorensen


My lovely wife, Snow White, has gone nuts this year in decorating our house with Christmas lights. She must have put up at least five strings of colored lights. Her enthusiasm is great and has helped the family get into the Christmas Spirit, even though Mother Nature has been a little stingy with the white stuff.

However, the other night I drove around Ely with my wife and I soon realized that next to some folks, my poor wife's display is pretty lame. There are some homes in Ely where it is lighter on the outside at night than it is inside their house. I mean,either they had the EPUC bring in an extra power line, or they are supplementing their meter with a gas generator in the back. At the very least, I think that with all the lightbulbs hanging from their walls, that the whole house is heated from the outside in. At least that will cut down on their heating bill. ,

I wonder if this is just some folks way of pulling out all the stops before the Y2K bug takes out the power grid and leaves us with only candles and oil lamps? Maybe, they figure if the power goes out on Jan. 1, 2000 they can ignore the large electric bill that will come in the mail for December. Of course, that bill might not even come if the Power Company's computer thinks it is 1900.

Some folks aren't satisfied with shear lumen displays of brightness; they have snowmen, angels, Santas, and candy canes about their yards. Many of these are illuminated along with every tree, bush and shrub. I am surprised that I don't see the family pet wired with lights when they come out to water the lawn. Actually, with some yards wired with lights on every shrub, it is a wonder that the family dog doesn't electrocute itself during a bathroom break. I imagine there might be a few dogs who have been at least shocked by accidentally wetting a string of lights. If your pet has been wetting indoors lately, you may have a victim of shock therapy.

Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoy outdoor lights. Especially, when somebody else puts them up. The more lights the better. I wouldn't even mind it if people had Christmas lights on all year round. It adds gaiety to life that just is missing on a day to day basis. It is like Halloween, when kids get to dress up into something other than the normal boring jeans and T-shirt. Perhaps, during the twelve days of Christmas we should all dress up like Santa Claus or an elf? The ladies could dress up as Mrs. Claus. Kids could be all sorts of things from reindeer to snowmen. I, myself, am thinking of dressing up as Tiny Tim. I already walk about town with a limp, but then I am a little too tall for the part. Perhaps a better part would be Marley's Ghost.

Yes, I do appreciate the lights and decorations that are adorning our fair City of the North. I hope more and more of us will deck our houses with lights galore. Next summer plant more trees and shrubs so there will be more objects to illuminate. Why not paint your house bright Christmas red and green. I'm surprised some of the merchants don't come out with Santa inspired clothing. Elfin footwear might be a refreshing change from all those Nikes and hiking shoes. The more the merrier, I say. I know we run the risk of looking like the Munchkins, but deep down in my child like heart, I always thought the Munchkins were pretty cool.


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