This story has its beginning in 2008, shortly after a visit to Ohio in May of that year. There was a lot of activity at my house during the summer and fall, some of which I have posted. The following is an account of happenings after that. I tend to get very home-sick during the Holidays, so my husband does everything within his power to alleviate the "Holiday Blues" that I suffer. We decorate the whole house.
That year, we needed a new tree, as the one we had started to shed its needles. It was a fake tree, so you know it was old. We got a cheap little thing from Walmart. I mean, this thing is ugly. The needles are shiny plastic and it looks so fake! But, we were running short of cash, and that was all we could afford, for the time being. Every year that we were in this house, I would find broken ornaments under the tree. The tree was in the only carpeted room in the house. We kept a gate across the door so the dogs couldn't get in the room. Also, we had hanging above the entrance to the kitchen a wire sculpture. It looked like a forest in winter. The hall upstairs only had a railing, so you could see the doors to the bedrooms. We would put a string of lights and some small ornaments on the sculpture, and plug it to my sons' bedroom. Again, every year, there would be at least one broken ornament lying on the floor by the kitchen. Numerous times, I would wake up and go downstairs to find the big tree lit, knowing full well that I had turned it off before going to bed.
My husband likes garage sales, and he had purchased an almost life sized singing Santa with a motion detector. He sings probably 8 or 10 songs. We never left him plugged in long enough to find out, as he liked to start singing on his own. That Christmas, while we were cleaning up after opening presents, I asked, "What about the ghosties? Did any one get the ghosties a present?" No sooner had those words left my mouth when Crash! Lying on the floor under the sculpture was a broken ornament. We were all in the living room at the time, as we had just finished opening our gifts.
Unfortunately, like so many others in this great country, we lost our house to foreclosure, and in January began the unpleasant task of finding a new home to rent. We found a really nice place in the same area and began moving in February. We had a lot of storage space in our old home, and if we had realized how much stuff we had accumulated over those 10 years, we would have started packing a lot sooner! I mentioned in my previous story the fascination that the garage door held for my friends. Throughout the month, as we were taking things from the house the door closed several times on its own. The final day we were there, it closed 3 times. My son JR said that our friends didn't want us to leave. So I said to the air, "You guys can come with us if you want to!" I did my final walk-through, and said good-bye to my home. I repeated those words in every room.
We were in our new house a few weeks, and my husband decided to have a garage sale of his own. I wasn't sure if my friends had followed, as I hadn't seen or heard anything out of the ordinary. I had just come home from work that day and seated myself by my step-daughter at the rear of the garage, and was engaged in small talk. Situated under the garage door were my husband's keyboards (the musical kind) and a gentleman and his son were considering them. My husband walked away to search for the adapters and all of a sudden, the garage door started coming down, right over the man and his son! My husband ran over and pushed the little boy out of way, and got the door back up. He apologized and said he didn't know why THAT happened. Well, I knew why, and I sat there giggling. No one else could find the humor. One other note: he had the Santa for sale, however no one bought him.
Throughout the rest of the year there were only a few small happenings. The washer became unplugged. The light that we leave on for the dogs in the family room was turned off one evening, though I was sure I had turned it on. I remember the white spots in my eyes because I had looked down into the shade to see if it was lit. It also had become unplugged after I had let the puppies outside and gone to the laundry-room for my work clothes and few other less spectacular things.
My "Holiday Blues" seem to worsen every year and this last was no exception. When we put up the tree that we got the previous year, we discovered that it was way too small for this house so decided to put it in the family room by the fireplace and get yet another for the living-room. I was worried about my puppies getting into it, as the family room is their domain. They are Jack Russell terriers, and if you don't know anything about them, they eat everything! They are not allowed any where else in the house. My husband placed it on the hearth. He decorated the mantle with garland, our stockings, etc. He then strung lights along it. It really was pretty. He had to plug in it behind the television, and I protested the inconvenience, so he put an extension cord with a remote on it so that all we had to do was push the button, and like magic, the whole thing lit up.
The day we put the trees up, I cleaned the living room really well. The floor in the living-room is that phony hard wood stuff. I clean it by damp mopping. I had just finished mopping and leaned the mop against the wall at the bottom of the stairs. My son Brandon, my husband and I went upstairs to allow the floor to dry, and play on our computers a bit. We were in a conversation when we heard a thump, and good old Santa started singing! I thought the noise sounded like a dog bark, but my son and husband said it sounded like the mop falling. We were discussing this all through Santa's song, and had come to the conclusion that he has a sound sensor also, when he started a new song! I started laughing, and Brandon had this look of disbelief on his face. When the song ended he went to the foot of the steps and started clapping his hands and yelling "HEY SANTA! WAKE UP!" and stomped his feet a few times nothing. He crossed his arms in the "humph" style and stood there staring, fully perplexed, at Santa for at least a good 5 seconds. Suddenly, Santa turned toward my son and started singing, "Well the weather outside is frightful"! He threw his hands in the air and ran back upstairs. I laughed until I cried! My husband, a "non-believer" (yea, right!) went down and unplugged him. He's such a party-pooper.
Again, almost every morning when I woke up, both trees would be lit. I do not go to bed without turning them off, with the exception of Christmas Eve. My boys pay the electric bill, which makes them very conscious about leaving lights on, etc. So I know they would not be so careless. The tree in the living-room was plugged into an outlet that had to be switched on by light switch on the wall near the front door. On one of the rare occasions that I woke up and they were off, I was sitting at the little table in the kitchen having my coffee. I wake very early it was about 2:45 am. Brandon had just come home and we were talking about things at work. (We work in the same store) Our house now is a split level, and you can look down into the family room from the kitchen. I asked him something, and glanced into the other room and POP the tree lit up. I looked at Brandon, and again, that perplexed look was on his face. I said, "Good morning ghosties and Merry Christmas!" We looked for the remote, and found it on top of the water cooler, under two baseball caps. And yes, the water cooler does vibrate slightly when it's plugged in. We had unplugged it that morning to defrost it as the water level was low and it freezes up. My husband says that the trees were lit by someone else's garage door opener, or radio transmissions from airplanes. They must be really strong waves to be able to flip a light switch!
While we were trimming the tree in the living-room, I placed a couple of small hand-crocheted stockings on it and told my ghosties that they were for them, and asked them to please not break any ornaments this year. They didn't!