Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Man with the Lights

I still miss it.

I thought it would never go away, then one day it was gone and my world was diminished. Some of my neighbors may not have noticed but I immediately spotted the gap and told my wife.

She replied, "It's about time." That was unworthy of her.

Here is the story. A man who lives around the corner had the lights of a white star strung along a side of his townhouse. Every year at Christmas time, I looked forward to the night when he would push in a plug and the lights would shine.

Very nice, but that was not the beauty of his display.

Its true appeal was that he never took the lights down.

They would be lit only during the Christmas season. The rest of the year they remained in place and a keen eye could discern the faint outline of the star. It was the quiet statement of a man who'd decided that putting up Christmas lights once was enough of a chore. I imagined him shuffling out, cigar in one hand and a drink in the other, and plugging in those lights.

The repainting of the townhouse ended this practice.

Progress has its penalties.


Kurt Harden said...

Growing up, a competition started in our neighborhood. I'm not sure who started it, but my father and several neighbors decided to see who could leave their Christmas lights up the longest. I remember my father coming home from work in March, plugging in the lights(my mother wouldn't do the deed), chuckling and looking up the street to see if he had won.

Michael Wade said...


That is an admirable competition.

Of course, it involves much more effort than merely leaving the lights in place and then plugging them in close to Christmas.