Burning Down the House
Since Thanksgiving has passed, I’ve decided now it is appropriate to share some Christmas themed blogs here. This one is an update on a blog I wrote four years ago after decorating for Christmas. We had plucked a couple of plastic toy soldiers from my parents’ collection over the weekend of Thanksgiving 2013. The soldiers lit up my parents front yard for years along with a Santa Claus and snowman. But my dad decided it was time to pass the soldiers on and I gladly accepted them.
I put the duo on our front porch, but because they’re lightweight and it was a particularly windy fall that year, the soldiers ended up toppling over several times a day. I got tired of picking them up and setting them back into place only to find my efforts thwarted moments later. So I moved the soldiers inside the house and put them on the windowsill of our bonus room above the garage.
I’d plug them in each night when it would get dark and then unplug them when I’d leave for work the next morning. One night after I’d gone to bed, my wife noticed a burning smell. Her first thought was something had melted in the dishwasher, but after checking and finding nothing of the sort, she followed her nose upstairs. There she found the light bulb had come out of the back of one of the soldiers and landed on the floor. We have no idea how long that bulb sat on the carpet, but it was long enough to burn a hole in the carpet and the baseboard.
In the years since this incident, I have moved the toy soldiers back outside. I secure one to a tree and the other to our light post with the help of a couple bungee cords. Knock on wood, there have been no incidents since that first one.
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