The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Hanging lights brings blizzard


December 1, 2012

My wife has a holiday theory. If her husband announces plans to hang outdoor Christmas lights, it's time to prepare for a blizzard.

Clark Griswold of "Christmas Vacation" fame doesn't have a thing on me when it comes to hard luck with a Christmas light string. I've yet to actually electrocute myself. But I still have a little decorating to do so watch the headlines.

Time always seems to be at a premium this time of year and so sometimes you're forced to climb a ladder or steep rooftop while it's coated in ice.

I remember one year hanging lights in the big cedar tree in our yard in Tucumcari when it seemed the whole tree had turned against me. Of course the icy 50 mph breeze whipping cedar branches across my face at the top of the step ladder might have had a little to do with the situation.

That was nearly 30 years ago and the numb feeling in my fingers still lingers to this day. My wife just chuckles when the ladder and extension cords come out. She pops a bowl of popcorn and finds a seat next to the window where she can watch and be ready to dial 911.

I love outdoor Christmas lights of all kinds, I've just never had the best looking house in the neighborhood or even the best house on the block. Despite that fact in my position at the Chamber I find myself in charge of a very elaborate and very public display on the Roosevelt County Courthouse for the last two years.

Three light controllers with 48 channels, synchronized through a laptop computer to Christmas music. I owe the fact that I actually got it to work to Thomas Martin's expertise with the computer and controllers, which are the same kind they use on the show at Taco Box in Clovis.

There was a bit of persistence involved in working through some breaker problems and muscle from four younger people. The experience has taken my holiday lighting talents to new heights (quite literally).

I guess I got a little over excited last year after putting up the courthouse display and when I stumbled into a Christmas lighting closeout I ended up buying enough icicle lights to cover my three-bedroom ranch.

The plan was to have put them up yesterday (Saturday).

I haven't put up lights in years so I'm excited. I think the display will be a little bit short of Griswold's 25,000 lights but I can't wait to see what it looks like.

The weather report earlier in the week was for warm temperatures and light breezes, so I apologize if my decorating plans somehow ruined that forecast. I also apologize to nearby neighbors who might have been affected by the neighborhood outage when I plugged in my lights.

If the lights came back on after the outage and are keeping you up nights just hang in there. I'll get home and shut them off when I get out of the hospital on Friday.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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