It was a 100 degree day in the middle of July. What caught my eye while browsing through someone else’s garage was a bicycle that must have dated back to the 30’s—Rusted, broken, and nowhere near safe enough to ride. It was painted Holiday Red with accents of green, complete with the classic whitewall tires.
The snow this year was absolutely amazing. Giant flakes fell every day for a week. Before long, it was up to the forth step on the porch. Luckily I had the sense to put the Christmas lights out earlier in the week. White in the small evergreens planted in the oversized window boxes surrounding the entire house, multi colored on the full sized trees that graced the porch, tiny white lights crept up the garlands that led to our front door intertwining with a generous red velvet ribbon. The outside was almost finished.
A quick trip to the hardware store, an old fashioned one that remains one of my favorites, for a bit more wire. While digging through a dusty box of antique ornaments, looking for the perfect patina in silver, I came across a strand of antique lights. The really old ones that burn way to hot and are just as boldly colored. The lights themselves were the size of chandelier bulbs. I could tell they were destined for the trash, and I asked if I could buy them.
After a little rewiring we were in business. The snow was beginning to fall at a steady pace. If we were going to do this, I had better get to it. We have giant eaves that that I could barley reach from the second floor window ledges. Dangerous yes, but maybe it made it a bit more fun. I placed two pulleys into the wood, centered perfectly considering the architecture of this Burnham Home. Slowly we pulled and pulled with far too many "artistic directors" offering their opinions about placement.
The 30’s bicycle officially had a new life hanging in front of the window boxes covered in twenty of the brightest colored bulbs I have ever seen. The tires were polished and the basket was filled with wrapped presents. It’s finishing touch being the dusting of fresh snow.
A few days later, Chicago Home and Garden came to take photos, the local newspapers even dropped by to highlight the neighborhood decorations and wanted to include ours.
Four feet of snow never looked so good. I didn’t even mind shoveling that year.