We moved to this house over Memorial Day in 2007. He looked at the tree. I looked at the lake. We both looked at the deck, and it was good. And we looked at the rest of the four-bedroom bank foreclosure not updated since 1977, and it was bad, but not awful.
We both imagined how things might be. I imagined where the Christmas tree might go inside, and he envisioned hanging lights on the tree outside, the one taller than the house.
The first time he tried it, he used a pole with PVC pipe and a coat hanger duct-taped to it. His contraption refined a bit and eventually I convinced him to just leave the damn things in the tree all year, why risk your neck?
And he persists. He tapes the strings together, he checks the strands. I sigh and shake my head. But when I meet a new neighbor and they ask which house is mine, if they've been here at least one winter, I say the house with the outdoor Christmas tree.
It's hard to miss.