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Thursday, December 17, 2009


It's been a buy few days, as I've been decorating the tree and getting ready for my party (this Saturday, all welcome). I finished the tree last night--snowflakes and tinsel, and getting it into just the right position (bad side to the wall, room to squeeze by to get ot the stairs.

Today I had a minor emergency--half of my speakers weren't working. I did simple diagnostics, and determined it was the integrated amp that had malfunctioned. I called my sold stereo shop, and was told to bring it in for repair, with the promise of a loaner of the party. As it turned out, the tech was there, and quickly replaced the blown fuse while I did some grocery shopping at the Royal Oak Kroger Senior Center. When I got home I checked for speaker short circuits, and found the culprit.

Things seemed to be going swimmingly, as they always do before a catastrophe. I was a bit ahead of schedule, and had rolled out the rug in the living room and begun to bring the knick-knacks in from the porch. I went to sweep under the tree, so I could put down the small Indian throw rug, when I noticed that the tree stand with its wooden leg extensions seemed to be tipped a bit--two of the legs were slightly off the ground. This worried me, so I ran out to the hardware store and bought wire.....heavy gauge wire. By the time I got home, the tree was definitely seriously listing away from the wall.

I quickly tied the tree to the wall (old screws were in place from a previous unsteady tree) and then called Sonny, my neighbor. He came right over, and, while I held the tree in place, screwed the trunk down even more tightly. Then, while he held it, I did a better wiring job, with two separate wires to the trunk. I then pulled the bottom branches of the tree, and the stand, away from the wall, straightening it.

Disaster averted.

There were some casualties. Three ornaments were broken, many more littered the ground, and many snowflakes and icicles fell. I've replaced some of the ornaments, particularly those at the center of the tree, but have almost a wastebasket full that aren't going back on.

My theory for the near-fall is that this tree was uneven--one side was much fuller than the other. I figured that it wouldn't be a problem, as I would just put the less full side to the wall, and had. But once the tree got loaded up with ornaments, the center shifted and so did the tree.
I think I'm OK for now, and will probably have a standing tree for the party, but it was really a close call. My fear was that the tree would fall, and I would catch it.........home alone, and far from the phone. Then what?

Next year, the wires go on after the lights...............


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