Hi, my name is Ken, and I'm a procrastinator.
It's the 12th of December, and I don't have my outside Christmas lights up yet. There's no good excuse for it, other than it's Winter, and Mother Nature has chosen to hurl down Arctic hell and fury upon us. But as a Canadian, I believe somewhere, deep down inside of what I am, is hidden the expertise to survive prolonged temperatures well into the negative side of zero. Along with an ability to continue using my hands productively, long after my fingers have been reduced to little more than frozen stumps that have no real value, other than making my wife scream when I get into the house and try to warm them up by sneaking up behind her and slipping them into the back of her pants.
That never ends well.
But I haven't seen any sign of that evolutionary mutation in myself for quite a number of years. Unless, of course, you count ice fishing. Because if you include that, I turn into a guru of the cold, and can feel the gentle nibbling of a trout on a lure, at the end of 20 feet of 8 pound mono-filament fishing line hanging off my index finger, while sitting on an empty 5 gallon pail, on 3 feet of ice, at 25 degrees below zero. Apparently, putting up Christmas lights doesn't trigger that hidden talent.
So, my wife has given me the ultimatum, if you don't get those fricken lights up by the end of the weekend, you might as well not even bother putting the damned things up at all! I'm paraphrasing there. She might have used slightly more colourful language to emphasize the urgency of the situation. And while the merits of that notion did, in fact, briefly drift through the icy caverns of my mind, it was quickly blown out of there by the next impending blizzard warning, on my Weather Network phone app.
Truthfully, it's not like I haven't been thinking about it. Getting the Christmas lights up is one of the places I've been trying to go to when I'm laying awake in bed at night thinking about the crashing grain prices, or all of the snow I need to dig out of the corrals before I can sort and sell my calves. Then I recall, because I don't really take the Christmas lights down till May when the snow finally melts, and I see they're still laying out there, that the puppy ate the ends off of pretty much every extension cord I use, and all of those need to be fixed before I can start. Maybe it's all of the work I need to do prior to being able to put up my lights, that is preventing me from diving into that project.
I'm a bit of a fan of grand, energy sucking, Clark Griswold-esque, lighting displays. It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside, and sets my heart aglow with the Christmas spirit. So I suppose, it's time I dig out my extension cords, try to salvage anything still usable, and start doing up my yard.
Yesterday I began where I always do, by plugging in the giant star on the top of our grain tower. And as night fell, and I peered out the window through the falling snow to see how it looked, I saw that there are just enough bulbs burned out on the thing, that it more resembles a giant glowing flat tire than it does a Christmas star.
That means I need to climb the 100 foot ladder with a bag of bulbs and replace those as well. Except, it's blizzarding right now, and it's pretty damned cold up there. It's supposed to warm up on Sunday.
.........I think I'll start then.