Looking for lights on the hill

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

As a child, my folks would drive my sister and I up to Columbus for an evening of playing at The Commons playground or dinner at Arby’s.

Along the way northward, there was a house located on State Road 11 that had a medium-size pine tree in the yard that stood at least 100 feet from the house. The tree was always lit up with colored Christmas lights, and I just couldn’t understand how in the world they were able to run electricity to that tree from that far away. My little mind hadn’t figured out yet that a good quality extension cord can make electricity available in even the most remote places.

I grew to expect to see that beacon of color in the seemingly inky black of the night before we reached the “big city” on those trips and vowed that someday I’d have something similar, though I never thought I’d be able to replicate that wonderment of the faraway tree with the colored lights.

This past October, I had moved some sapling trees from places on the farm where they didn’t belong and replanted them in much more appropriate spots.

Among those that were being moved, there was a small Christmas tree-type shrub that I had let overgrow in a plastic pot, and I figured that now was the time to remove it from its polyethylene container and let it spread its roots into the sandy soil of the farm. I’ve heard that the best time to repot or plant trees is any month that has a “T” in it, so October seemed a very appropriate month.

Thinking back to the winter season of 2020, I had decided to put Christmas lights on my standalone chicken coop to brighten up what was a dreary holiday season with social distancing and quarantine. It looked very similar to Snoopy’s doghouse in the classic Christmas movie featuring the Peanuts gang. I liked the look so much of the colored lights that I left it up until March.

So when I ran another extension cord to the newly replanted pine with colored lights, I couldn’t wait for the sun to go down to see the lights glowing brightly on the hill outside my house. I had recreated that look of the “magic” pine tree that I loved so much as a youngster.

Now, as I drive up toward the farm, I see the glowing chicken coop and now the small pine tree atop the hill, which are beacons of color in an otherwise pitch-black night. Who knew that a well-placed, quality, extension cord and some multicolor lights could bring so much happiness. I may just leave them up until March again.

Until next time…

Stephanie Strothmann owns Purple Shamrock Farm LLC in rural Seymour. Read her blog at whattheclucker.blogspot.com. Send comments to [email protected].