Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sarah's Cedar

My only sister, Sarah Brown, lives down the street from me. Her street has a different name, but since my street merges right onto (left actually) hers, I consider her as living just down the street. Living as close as we do affords us many opportunities to do things together.

Twelve years ago, five of us, including Sarah, drove to Alabama to visit two dear friends, Richard and Jane Pennington, who, at that time, had just relocated from Greenville, Mississippi to Greensboro, Alabama. They had purchased an antebellum home and invited us over, during the holiday season of ’97. We had a wonderful meal in their home, were treated like royalty, practically given the key to the city, and before we left were presented with two small cedar trees that Richard dug from his yard.

Sarah, upon returning to Pontotoc, immediately set out hers in her back yard, but positioned it on the side that can be seen from the street. Mine died in a planter from lack of attention and indecision as to where in my small yard on 8th Street to plant it. Sarah’s has thrived. We’ve not measured its height, but it’s close to twenty feet tall, now.

For the past several years, Sarah has lit it with multicolored lights for the Christmas season. However, the weather turned wet and cold last December before Jason and I could get by to rework the lights that had been left up from prior years. This past summer, I got tired of hanging the loosely strung strands of lights with my lawnmower and, one day, pulled all the lights down. Some strands were unusable after my tugging. (I actually pulled the wires apart, removing the tangled web of wires from the branches.)

Afterwards, the cedar seemed much fuller, all to the delight of Sarah, who had worried about her skinny tree for at least the prior four years. I believe we had the tree so wrapped with lights that, as it tried to grow, it took on the look of one netted for sale on a tree lot.

When I had a tree service firm trim and remove a few of the trees in my yard, this summer, the owner of the service assured me he would use his bucket truck to help me get new lights strung on Sarah’s cedar. He later agreed to a specific timetable, the week of Thanksgiving. But, when he had not arrived by the weekend, Jason and I took matters into our own hands.

I have a pool pole, that when extended is about sixteen or so feet in length, so I fashioned a coat hanger in a v-shape and secured it to one end of the pole to use as an “arm extender” to help hang the lights higher than we could reach by standing in the bed of a pickup.

Sarah bought four thousand lights, but Jason and I decided we only needed about three thousand of those. After a couple of hours, we felt we had enough lights on the tree to be attractive and not so many as to overload the power supply. When Sarah voiced her approval, we stopped the work. Returning after dark, we saw a few holes, and after some minor adjustments decided to leave well enough alone.

Sarah’s cedar is not perfectly lit, but it’s a nice addition to the neighborhood. Her Montgomery neighbors have already told me how much they appreciate having the beautiful tree to look at from their back windows.

Everyone that lives in Dogwood Circle or on Ridgewood Drive must stop before leaving this subdivision. When they do, they can’t miss seeing Sarah’s cedar ablaze with multi-colored Christmas lights. At least one of these drivers has told me how much she and her girls have enjoyed the lighted tree off to their left.

If you like simplistic exterior illumination, a well-lit cedar is hard to beat. This one’s at 195 Highland, Pontotoc, if you care to drive by and see it. It’s making my Christmas merrier. Perhaps, it’ll do the same for you.

~ By Wayne L. Carter/
Associate Editor & Publisher
The Bodock Post.

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About Me

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I'm a native of Pontotoc, MS, and graduated Pontotoc High School in 1960. I received a BS degree in Mathematics from The University of Mississippi in 1965. My wife Barbara and I have two children and five grandchildren and one great grandchild. We make our home in Pontotoc.