Good morning! Merry Christmas week'eve!
Do you remember last year's post around/after Christmas??... I think I said something that it's nice to be done and out form the holiday season so life can feel normal... but don't get complacent as it'll be here before you know it... well!... like a crystal ball into the future! ... it's Christmas time again..
Kids are off today.. no reason to get up or anything... here I am in the nice and quiet jamming out to the keyboard... and what the hell happens?! BOTH! kids get up and are wondering around like it's a weekend... as they should of course.. but DUDE! it's before 6AM!! and do you have any clue how hard this is to get you guys up during the week before 6AM?!??! what the hell!! go back to bed! >D HA!
Where was I????.... oh yeah, Christmas. ;)
The other day I had to go rock a handyman job I didn't want to... I had already been out there to do a repair and the client (not mine) didn't have the water on?! how can I fix a leak or make sure many other things that aren't working, that need water... when there is no water?! ... so there went my Monday! Then the frustrations of it all was directed as if it were my fault that I couldn't go back out there until Sunday (I really try and not work on Sunday) but that wasn't good enough.. days later, reluctantly when my day was already done, I was out there again near quitting time to address their unplanned emergency.. ugh! I was hot dude!..
Anyway! I digress....
Now with the water on... (weird?!).. I had my list of material I needed to get from Home Depot. To make things hotter, this house was smack in the middle of nowhere with 3 different HD's all the same distance apart but not close... Like the universe was leading me, I ended up going to the HD off of 91st and Peoria... the first HD I ever worked at as a kid - still in high school kid.. was kinda nostalgic... my favorite work memory was working as a cashier inside the Christmas tree lot...
As soon as I pulled up and saw the lot - the lot in the same exact spot - I slowed down and paused for a moment... a legit 20 years ago I stood right here working not knowing about the future. As if something deliberately shit on my day, forcing me to go 40 minutes out of my way to have a universal talking to. That put me in a much better mood from where I was.
Having left there still in irritated spirits, but nowhere near as bad as it could, the Christmas tree lot memory closed an open mental loop of mine.. When I started the handyman biz I thought I'd be fixing stuff, building shit, and designing crap... duh.. hahaha... BUT! I never thought I'd be asked to help someone get their Christmas on!.. It is seriously one of the coolest feelings!
Like having a Christmas party at a job that you like, but the party is during the day, so work and day drinking! or! better yet, like being a kid at school - total halfass school day.. the pressure is off, you need to attend, but everyone is in a good mood and you're happy to be there.... OR! selling Christmas trees in a Christmas tree lot as a young adult....
THAT! That is the feeling!
The other Friday ago I was hired to go hang Christmas lights on a family's house. They had been married for 34 years and have never had lights on their home - ever. The husband does not like heights nor can he spell the word hammer hahah.... after having earned trust from them on jobs prior, he looked at me and said.. "I need your help. Please go to the store and buy whatever is needed... the checkbook is open. Please make it look awesome".... talk about DAMN! like if you weren't already in the holiday spirit.. (which I wasn't) I'm going to hire you to get into it!
After a good couple hours of enjoying the slight overcast day (damn it was beautiful!) they came outside to enjoy the completed effort. He pats me on the shoulder with a tear in his eye and says "it may sound silly, but this brings a tear to my eye. I can't tell you what this means to me and my wife especially, thank you. You're a true blessing Joshua." I can tell you that's a really cool feeling. Probably one of the best yet <3
So to get their picture later that night was like a cherry on top. They were very happy :)
You may have gathered this.. you may not have... but I'm not much of a Christmas decorator.. like at all. For the most part I pull the crap down from the crawl space and it's Chas and the boys who need to do the work. Ironically last year was the first year we decorated the front of our house... like ever... so much so our neighbor made a spectacle of our efforts, which I happily told him to have a Merry Christmas! HAHAHHAH!
Last year was a lot of fun with our neighbors setting things up at the same time.. so much so our ideas took off for the following year... like ridiculously..
Do you follow the intent???....
Here I am trying to get a better perspective for our gud intentions... Chas was having a field day telling me how and when to stop so her picture could come out well. hahah!
The boys helped where they could.. but for the most part were just equally being asses! hahah
I was like DUDE!! I put that stuff up man!!
Clearly you can tell they were all about listening too.... I think they get that from their mom. HAH! :)
After about $350 in material and lights... we were able to be "those" guys... hahah! it turned out hella awesome!!
This was one of those times I really wish I had my GP to ask questions to... I think I spent about 3-4 hours working on how to pull this off. We had it about 90% there and then an older man showed up asking what we were doing... I mean spanning 120' across the street, house to house with a 3/16" aircraft cable hanging 14' in the air.. well.. that kinda makes a scene.. which also requires a team effort - AND - traffic control!
So while we were figuring out the details an older guy, I think my GP sent him, came by to lend some wisdom. I wish I knew the math calculations to figure out the weight we were spanning... but it took two of us buff dudes to pull that cable taught enough, then secure it in the same rhythm.. We had it right up till there. I'm sure we would have figured that out, however that's when the heaven sent wisdom showed up.
We were sweating balls though!!!! tomorrow was garbage day... and who the hell knows how tall a garbage truck is?!???!! WELL!!! ALMOST 14' I tell you!!!
The cool part and surprising part is that the neighborhood really liked the idea. We ended up suspending two 8" mistletoes above the sidewalks.. so many people walk them in the mornings... might as well encourage a little more christmas spirit!! haha :)
Hell! while out having a drink with our neighbors throwing the ball and such as the kids are riding their bikes, a neighbor of ours, one whom we've "seen" for 6 years stopped under the lights and talked to us... we even shook hands and introduced each other... weird!!
Better yet, on another night doing the same thing a small SUV pulls up and the rear window rolls down... she must have been like 4 or 5 or so... sitting high in her car seat says "I really like your lights" :) dude it was awesome! Her mom rolled down the window and said it looks really cool... she said now they can never go home until they drive under the lights... even during the day this is their routine..
While outside enjoying the fruits of our labor Chas turns around and says you really had to do this didn't you?... you just couldn't put lights up like normal people... hahah... followed with, no one will never believe that this is your second year setting up decorations. >D hahahh! :) My reply was see! I told you! don't put wiseass ideas in my head! I might just find a way to pull it off! hahahah :)
There's only one more post for the year and I couldn't not make at least one last good one to laugh at and feel good about. For me, considering my decorating efforts, it was nice to have Chas chill and watch us while we set the tree up, drank whiskey & margaritas, watched college football, and spent time with the family. :)
Last year Chas and I decided to part with our old, tired, dusty, run down, first Christmas tree... We gave it to Goodwill after the holiday was over to force us to get a new one... As we neared the beginning of December we were helping clients move out of their home into their new one... they didn't have enough space so we offered our garage as temporary storage. As we neared closing Jeff made the comment... you know what... our new house only has 8' ceilings... there's no way we can use this 9 footer... they asked if we'd like to have it.... the universe provides again. Now we can carry on their legacy mixed with ours.. There's no not thinking of them every time we look at it.
And honestly.... I think that's the way Christmas is supposed to feel. In the truest sense, the most genuine intentions, we hope you have an amazing Christmas... We hope it's spent with whomever is important to you - even if that's just you... may these final weeks of 2019 close gently like a children's book finished at bedtime.
You are important to us.
Merry Christmas friend <3