Earlier today I was thinking, "what should I write about next on the blog" and I thought oh yes, I'll write about the Galaxy of Lights Runs that I did this week. Then this afternoon when I got home, I remembered I had not yet regaled the tale of Saturday and all of the craziness that came with it. So, please allow me to share the story with you and I do hope it gives you a laugh or nine.
Saturday morning, I got up early, as usual, and started some laundry and cleaned the kitchen and then watched a little TV. I was confined to the house because I was covering for someone at work and had to make sure some things were taken care of Saturday morning before I could leave the side of my computer. I made a few work calls and thought I wouldn't be able to leave to run errands until closer to 11:00 a.m., but, as luck would have it, we were ahead of schedule and so by 9:30 a.m I was done with all manner of work for the day and so I changed clothes and left the house to take care of business.
As luck would have it, it was Small Business Saturday and I just so happened to need to stop by some local businesses and purchase a few things to complete my Christmas list. I also made a purchase or two for myself because 'tis the season. I made it home by noon with hopes that I wouldn't need to leave again the rest of the day.
After I ate lunch, I began to drag some of the Christmas decorations out of the shed. You may recall that last year I only put up a small tree because I didn't want Pippa to knock over a big one and break all manner of ornament. This year, however, I decided to bring out the big tree once again. So, I did and I plugged it in only to discover that the only lights working on the tree were the top strand. Needless to say, I was not happy.
In case you don't know me, and I suppose most of you do, I am the type of person who, once I've decided to do something (like decorate the tree), I will do it, no matter what and so I couldn't just sit there without a tree since I had decided I was going to put the tree up. Since I had left The Pip in the crate earlier in the day to run errands, I decided to take her with me. So, I loaded her up and off we went to the new Wal-Mart. I decided if I could find a tree for $100 or less, I would buy it.
I left The Pip in car (obviously) while I went in to Wal-Mart. I parked by the Garden Center since that's where the trees are and discovered that the entrance was locked and I had to walk around to the front of the store. I went back to the trees, found one that I liked fairly well for $89 and found it on the shelf. There was only one with white lights and it was on the very top shelf. I asked a worker to help me get it down and she said she would and then disappeared. After waiting a few minutes, I found a ladder, climbed up and got the tree down for myself. Another customer stood beside me and told me she would call for help if I fell. She also kind of held on to my back while I walked down the ladder with a jumbo boxed tree in my hands. Thankfully, no one was injured in the process.
I returned the ladder to it's rightful place and made my way to the cashier where I discovered that the tree was actually on sale for $62 which made it an even better bargain. As I was leaving the store, carrying the tree over my shoulder, the woman who was supposed to have helped me was concerned I was going to report her for not helping and went into a long dissertation as to where she had disappeared to. I told her not to worry about it and try my best to get away quickly because I was ready to get home and get to decorating.
When I got to the car, I had to put Pippa on a leash and let her out of the car so I could let part of the back seat down in order to fit the tree in the Rogue. I finally managed to get tree, dog and human in the car and on the road.
Once home, I unloaded the dog and the tree and immediately began to set the tree up. I got the last part assembled only to discover one of the strands would not light up. I was less than thrilled, as I'm sure you can imagine. So, I boxed it back up and attempted to call the Wal-Mart in Hampton Cove to see if they had one of these trees there. Since I knew that I had gotten the last one at the new Wal-Mart.
I waited on the phone for probably 20 minutes and no one in the Garden Center would ever pick up. So, I put Pippa in the crate, loaded up the tree and took off. I got to the Hampton Cove Wal-Mart, unloaded and carried in the tree and returned it. They credited back my money and I went back to the Garden Center to see if they had that model with white lights and miracle of miracles, they did. I loaded it in the loudest shopping cart of all-time and started to make my way to the register when another tree caught my eye. This one had a price of $99 and was a lot prettier than the one I was about to purchase. It had more of a pine look about it and I decided I had rather have it instead.
However, there were no pine trees to be found in a box. That model had apparently sold out and the man who looked like Santa Claus who was working outside said a lot of people had been looking for it but they didn't have any more and so I asked the Santa look alike if I could buy the display. I mean, at least I knew all the lights were working. Santa told me to talk to a woman named Meghan. To abbreviate the next 10 minutes I spent trying to locate and get an answer out of this Meghan, the conclusion was yes, I could buy the display.
Of course, no one volunteered to get the tree for me and so I walked to the middle of all the trees on display which is where the pine was, unplugged it, lifted it over my head and walked out of the middle of the trees to place it in my obnoxiously loud shopping cart. There were two ladies in the way though and I couldn't get to my cart and so I walked, literally, all the way around the Christmas section of the Garden Center carrying a seven foot artificial tree over my head until I reached the cash register. I only knocked down one other tree in the process, which the two ladies picked up for me. They also brought me the loud shopping cart which I couldn't get to before.
The cashier scanned the barcode hanging from the tree, I paid and then loaded it up in the noisy shopping cart because heaven forbid anyone that works at Wal-Mart actually help a customer with heavy lifting. I managed to get the tree to my vehicle and shoved it in and made it home without going postal on someone. It was truly a Christmas miracle.
Once home, I opened the door to discover that Pippa was not in her crate, but sitting in the chair by the front door. Clearly in my haste and frustration to get out the door and back to Wal-Mart, I had not really fastened the door to the crate like I thought. Thankfully nothing was harmed or peed on in the great dog escape. I managed to get the tree up and decorated and the rest of the Christmas decorations out and the floors vacuumed and mopped before 5:00 p.m. which was my goal once I realized what a fiasco I was in. I then took a long hot bath and more or less crashed on the couch. I seriously felt like it was 10:00 p.m. and it was more like 6:00 p.m. I had no words for the exhaustion I felt.
The remainder of the night was spent watching football and also cleaning and wrapping presents to distract me from what was a disastrous first half. By the time the third quarter rolled around, I decided to just lie down on the couch and watch the game and try to relax which was kind of impossible since Alabama wasn't playing so well. Finally, the game got turned around for the better and I was able to enjoy the final quarter and the nice victory over our rival. Once the game was over, I went straight to bed, illuminated by the light of a Christmas tree.
I realize the tree looks kind of crooked here. I promise it's not. I was laying down when I took this photo and I'm too lazy to get up and take a new one.