Christmas Lights, Socks and Dusty Shoes

Well, I finally took down my Christmas lights yesterday.

I know you're thinking "GOOD GRIEF! It's almost time to put them BACK UP! Wow, that's slacker-dom at an entirely new level."

And you'd be wrong.

Because it's a even lower level than you're thinking.

Yes indeedy, I finally took my Christmas lights down.

But the truly shameful part is that they'd been up for more than four years.

No, seriously.

Well, it was either more than four years or almost four. Let me go check because I wrote a humor column that featured the lights after I'd left them up the first year... Yep, here it is: Holiday Spirit. I wrote that in 2004, so I put the lights up in 2003 and there they stayed until yesterday, almost four years. So long that the tree has grown over parts of them. No, seriously, look:

And do you want to know something? Really, the only reason I took them down is that my dad had been doing yard work for about four hours and I felt sooooooo guilty. Look at my yard!
But he'd practically done everything before I got a clue so I hopped right out there and finally did what I should have done four years ago.

Meanwhile, inside my house, my mother was scrubbing down every available surface. Get this, she washed and dried their sheets before she left this morning and gave the bathroom a once-over. She knows my MIL is coming this weekend to stay with the girls while Coop and I go to New York for a fun weekend away and she wanted to make sure that HER visit didn't make any additional work for me.

It makes my heart hurt a little. And since I am the Travel Agent for Guilt Trips, I feel monstrously guilty. And appreciative. And blessed beyond all measure. And guilty, did I mention guilty?

So, to repay her for her generous and thoughtful acts, do you want to know what I did? I plied her with hand-painted sock yarn and double-pointed needles. And I printed out Silver's Sock Tutorial (which is single-handedly responsible for my sock-knitting conversion) in COLOR so that she could take it to the beach with her and work on her first pair of socks.

I feel like a Pusher or an Enabler or some other word for a person of bad character who is trying to get other people addicted. I mean, in return for her back-breaking work and her patience and her love of my children, I have now repaid her by getting her hooked on an expensive and all-consuming, totally addictive hobby.

Um. Well, hopefully.

In other news, look what I'm wearing today!

I know you were worried it had something to do with cleavage, weren't you? Well, not today! It's the first really brisk fall day and I'm actually wearing long sleeves and long pants (which I bought over the weekend without actually crying. Because I so rule.)

And real shoes for the first time this year. I mean, besides running shoes. If you look closely, you can see that there's still some dust on them. (Hey, mom! You missed a spot!)


hokgardner said…
Which pigeon book is that? We love the pigeon, but I don't recognize that cover. Is it possible we've missed one of the books?
Anonymous said…
What I want to know is why are you wearing socks that are not hand-knit by you!??

Nice hair, BTW. Have a super time in NYC - I'm totally jealous.
Barb Matijevich said…
Um, I don't have any hand-knit socks. My beloved vet had to put her dog down and in total sympathy, I realized that I'd been knitting my last pair for her. Buddy Socks. Buddy was her dog. They even turned out to be her favorite color. She sent me pictures, I should post them.

It's the "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus." It may be the back cover, though, I'll have to check.
What a great mom! And it's not that expensive a hobby - if you knit slowly....

I'll have to check out that sock tutorial - I've just been going by the basic sock recipe in the Yarn Harlot's book. Everything else looks way too intimidating.
Ei said…
I bmember that column!

I wanted to tell you that I LOVE your hair...and your heck, you da woman. And apparently, you also da woman's daughter.

Have I mentioned that I happen to be a bit of a personal development blog junkie? It is incredible timing. This is the thing I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Your mama wanted to take care of you, because it made her feel good, like you make socks for people who are hurting because it makes you feel good. Give up the guilt my dear.

Hugs to Super Vet on the loss of Buddy.

I hope your trip to New York is fantastic.
Love the socks, being a sock girl from way back. You get your PARENTS to help with your house/yard work? I want the recipe for making that happen, please!
Suna Kendall said…
I am proud of you on the shoe front. It must feel good to wear real ones. Many pairs of boots were freed from closets yesterday among women where I work.

*I* have on a new wool cardigan made by MEE.

Your holiday lights remind me of what happened to us a few years ago. We put up the tree, then when it was time to put it away, the box disintegrated. Since I could not figure out what to do with it, I left it up for 4 years. Periodically we would re-decorate it for the current holiday or season (but not regularly enough to appear fanatic). Finally took it down last year. I think we will get a real tree this year, then get a new fake one with a good box at the after-Christmas sales.
MadMad said…
A) I LOVE Mo's pigeon books. The BEST, I tell you. And further instance of great minds thinking alike, if you ask me.

B)I can see leaving the lights up four years. I do not even remotely grasp taking them down. NOW, just two months before Christmas.

C) Um.... could I borrow your parents?
Barb Matijevich said…
MadMad, I might have left them up but a few of the strands had gone out and on others, the green tint had worn off so that they had the odd yellow light showing through. I was going to have to do something new anyway. And instead of making myself crazy trying to unwrap them, since I knew I was going to throw them away anyway, I just cut them down with a utility knife. It didn't take that long.

Ei, I ended up going all over that site and reading all kinds of helpful things. I seem to be in something of a self-improvement phase right now and I'm very slowly making changes to a variety of things/issues/hair in my life. So, thanks!