Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. – Bil Keane
Today’s quote comes from Bill Keane, the creator of the popular comic strip The Family Circus. William Aloysius Keane (October 5, 1922 – November 8, 2011), better known as Bil Keane, was an American cartoonist most notable for his work on the long-running newspaper comic The Family Circus. It began in 1960 and continues in syndication, drawn by his son Jeff Keane (wonder why he has two “f ‘s”?). This seemed like a fitting quote today, given the Christmas theme and trees and the presents and everything. The circus kind of fits too, lately. It’s also a good quote for this particular blog theme for another reason. Remember the trademark path that Bil Keane used to use in some of his cartoons to show where the characters had been or when the characters were exploring their surroundings? That kind of reminded me of the last few weeks for Brenda and I. We’ve covered a lot of ground it seems.
Christmas is almost here. Or is it? Another good week began this past weekend with putting up the Christmas lights in our gated community. My friend Ross and I volunteer every year to put up the Christmas lights on the clubhouse. Actually, we rally up a team of volunteers to do it. Ross and I always get the high lights to do, as it seems that I have the only safe ladder in the complex. It’s a pretty skookum ladder, and each year Ross and I take turns on who goes up the ladder carrying the “Christmas wreath of a thousand lights.” It’s rather comical actually, no matter which one of us goes up said ladder, the other of of us stands bravely at the bottom while the other starts the climb rung by rung into the cloud cover just hovering somewhere near the top. This year it was Ross’s turn, and I watched Ross climbing my extension ladder that goes up 24 feet or so whilst balancing a thirty pound wreath, all the while with an 8 foot cord dangling dangerously between his legs as he gingerly proceeded up each rung. He finally got to the top of the ladder, gingerly balancing the wreath while the cord flailed and attached itself to one of the rungs as he carefully attempted to hoist the said thirty pound “Christmas wreath of a thousand lights” up and onto the safety hook we screwed into the clubhouse wall ten years or so ago now. I did my part as I stood on the bottom rung of the ladder to steady it, warning our other courageous volunteers to not go under the ladder in case Ross dropped something onto their heads as they scurried back and forth doing all the lower lights. I don’t believe that thirty pound wreaths or one hundred and eighty pound Ross’s bounce too well, and they can do a lot of damage to themselves if they were to splat. Maybe we should consider a safety net next year, some kind of a trampoline thing so that the thirty pound wreath or the one hundred and eighty pound Ross would bounce and be protected. I’ll make the suggestion to Ross over Christmas, and next thing you know he’ll be searching E-bay looking for it. After all, it is a safety issue, right Maureen? That’s a bit of an inside joke between Ross and I, anytime he really thinks he needs something he usually blurts it out and I remind Maureen when she protests that it is a safety issue. That always makes her comply with his request, although I think we may have overused the excuse now, as everything seems to be a safety issue. Mo is getting onto us I think. It’s not my fault though, Ross wants (or “needs” if you listen to him) a lot of items that require safety. He is kind of accident prone you know. Anyway, he got the wreath up and onto the hook, attached the safety cable to the screwable carabiner, and gingerly proceeded down the ladder. It will be my turn to head up the ladder after Christmas to take down the wreath.
After Ross and I did the clubhouse lights this past weekend, we continued with our other tradition and helped each other do the lights on our houses. We also had our customary cup of hot chocolate with Bailey’s about halfway through the lights on Ross’s house. The hot chocolate is another of our safety issues, it gets cold hanging those lights. It was also Grey Cup Sunday this past Sunday, so we had to hurry so that we could watch our Canadian version of Super Bowl Sunday, although the commercials aren’t as good as the ones during Super Bowl. It’s customary for the Canadian viewers across Canada sitting around their televisions to always pick either the east or the west to cheer for, and which team you cheer for depends on the team that represents your side of the country, which for us in Vancouver should mean the west team. I picked east this year while Brenda, Ross, and Maureen picked west of course. The east lost miserably, so I guess that wasn’t such a good idea. I’m pretty sure that it was the cup of hot chocolate (with Bailey’s of course) that made me do it.
Brenda and I began the week with doing the inside Christmas decorating this year. We started early due to Brenda’s surgery this coming Monday. In past years we always got a real tree, but this year I finally relented and we went out and got a nine foot artificial tree with the lights already in it. It was a safety issue. You see, it was always a “pink” job (Brenda’s job) to do the lights every year, and a “blue” job (Keith’s job) to set the tree up in it’s usual corner at the beginning of the season to get it “light ready.” At the end of the Christmas season, Brenda and I would manage to squeeze the usual ten foot real tree (marking our path with the needles so we could find our way back into the house) through the front door (more needles marking our way back in) and I would then cut up the tree and put it with the organics for pickup after Christmas. So this year, in the name of safety, hers and mine as it turns out, we got the artificial tree. If it was to become a “blue” job then I needed to address the safety concern accordingly.
All for now. I will most likely write something shorter this weekend prior to Brenda going for her surgery. Wish us luck … bye for now, and with love ….