This morning we cleared the tops of our kitchen cupboards of the cornucopia, turkey platter, the owl peaking from behind fall foliage, etc. in preparation for a more wintery look. The rest of the house will have decorations more with the theme of celebrating Christ's birth but whatever goes on top of the cupboards gets to stay there for the balance of the winter. It's not an easy task for us old-folks to get up and down and then up and down again. I do tend to change my mind about placements several times before we get it to the point I am satisfied, much to my husband's chagrin.
The day we decorated the cupboards for autumn our tall grandsons were visiting. They did most of the climbing for us, not only clearing the summer decorations, but cleaning the tops of the cupboards. Kitchen grime builds up, even there. I admit when my husband and I do it alone, the grime stays there a little longer. When it is time to get the snowmen off the cupboards, I will time it so it happens when the boys are back.
Our Thanksgiving visitors helped hang swags of lighted snowflakes on the eaves at the front of the house. The lights worked fine when tested in the garage but refused to turn on after they were hung. So down they came. A trip to the store for new ones and the snowflakes were hung once again. After that was finished, my spouse decided to find out what had happened that the first set they hung didn't work. He was disgusted because they were only a year old. He plugged them in and this time they lit up as bright as ever. What gives? We have no idea but now we have more snowflake lights than we need.
A son and grandson visiting from Kansas City told us they had become amateur pickers. Modeling themselves after the two Iowans whose activities they follow on television, they went around the house looking for old stuff they might want. The first thing they found was a discarded license plate from my husband's pickup. It is personalized and says "Iowa Corn". The pick was approved with no charge. "That is a perfect pick," my grandson bragged, "The key words for a perfect pick are 'no charge.'"
When they chose to take that license plate I was reminded that the personalized plate had been a gift to their dad many years ago. At that time they tortured me by hinting they had also ordered a personalized plate for me saying "Corny." I was more than a little upset by that. Thankfully it was just teasing to get a rise out of me. But I wonder if they would have picked that, too It would have been a bonus pick because I would pay to get rid of it.
Their next pick was a Lincoln Swag Aladdin kerosene lamp. That had to get past me rather than the what-the-heck-take-it attitude of the male member of our household. They offered five dollars. I asked five hundred. Their offer went up in fifty cent increments but so did my selling price. It is still mine.
Then my daughter-in-law got in on the act. She took a parade of snowmen her father-in-law had made but no longer used as a lawn decoration Once again his price was the same "no charge". This time that backfired a little bit. A second daughter-in-law said, "Hey, you gave Katie a set. When do I get a set?" He is off to the lumberyard this morning to get the boards he needs to build another parade of four fat snowmen. I was smiling inwardly because he had made himself more work. Then I realized, he made more for me , too. I now had to dress the little fellows in velour stocking caps and scarves. After all, the ones Katie took were dressed. That means I'll spend a previously unscheduled afternoon in my sewing room soon.
And now that I have written this column, my back is rested and I can go back to climbing the kitchen ladder and reaching to the tops of the cupboards.