Yesterday I broke down the Christmas tree.
“Girding my loins”, I reviewed the list. Lugging up the box. Finding all the (right) boxes that store all our (huge) Hallmark ornament collection. Taking the lights off without making a huge pile of knots in them. Trying to find each ornament box that fits each ornament in the multiple boxes that store the boxes. Then ceremoniously (and oh-so-carefully) replacing the ornament in the box….(over the years Hallmark has tried every storage idea under the sun, so each box is a mystery. I HATE the plastic molds. Those molds are a nightmare to figure out which way the #*#*#* ornament goes…)
So, list of above in my head, I start with task one. Lugging up the box. Sigh. Especially hard after my surgery and lack of help.
This year my husband boycotted Christmas. My husband has always loved the Christmas tree and ornaments; his mom worked for Hallmark and we have HUNDREDS of them. But I couldn’t quite do that as we have a 10-year-old who loves the traditions. I have never put up the tree in my life. And the end result showed it. A ten-year old and a spacially dyslexic 43-year-old trying to figure out the lights. Hilarious if I wasn’t the 43-year-old. As I was, not so funny. Our 20-year-old tree looked like it was being strangled. Everything about it looked whipped. My husband is “Mr Fluffer”; he can make anything look good no matter the age. Without the Fluff, it Flopped.
Back to taking up the box.
I begin to drag the box up the stairs. The bottom opens up like a storm in summer. And out flops all the stuff. The light boxes. The bags. The extra everything that is just part of the Christmas Tree Box. Now the Extra Everything was strewn all down the steps. And I had a big unwieldy piece of cardboard flopping around on the steps. Grrrr. I just wanted to get this DONE.
I have a strong association with the word “patient”. I am not. But I take care of them, and I am one often. So “patient” hovers around my world picking up this definition and dropping that. As the bottom fell, so did my small storage of patience. And the last patience penny was spent when I smelled the old moldy cardboard smell, then saw my little Ferrel cat leap over the top in ecstasy and squat down to pee. AHHH! Yes it is old, but it is NOT a litter box, and it is still usable! Get me some air freshener and box tape!
Muttering to myself, I taped it up to an inch of its life.
I stepped back and viewed the results. It looked stiff. For some odd reason the scenario reminded me of my son’s first snowstorm. Overzealous, I stuffed him into his snowsuit, plopped the poor soul into the snow and let go. Arms held stiffly out, he slowly keeled over like the Titanic. As he weebled over face first, I became completely convulsed with hysterical laughter. Thank God for a sane person. My husband tried 3 times to upright him. After the third attempt, we figured his howls were going to get us into trouble and gave it up.
Well, I am not giving up with this box. It is old, it is ugly, it is stinky, it has no bottom, but it is all I have. So, in a hopeful spirit, I put everything back in and started to pick it up……sag……I could feel the bottom trying to hold and giving in s-l-o-w-l-y.
Extra support, that’s what it needed. A big bag on the outside, like panty-hose.
I tried more cardboard. I found a gi-normous bag and put the box in it. Then I gave up. I would just have to use separate bags and trash the box. Depressed, I flopped over myself. After an hour, I had not even completed item one. But toward the end of my emergency box surgery, I started thinking. About a tired box too old to support itself. About supporting it with tape. About a stubborn woman. While I couldn’t save something that was a lost cause, thank the Lord that He did not find us a lost cause to save.
And this hour lost was an hour won.