The Bleaker Street Tradition

The number of holiday lights on Angela and Craig’s house grew over thecobaltb 40-some years they lived on Bleaker St. Hundreds of cobalt blue and white lights trimmed the roof, outlined the front door, and sparkled from the bushes.

That is, until a few years ago.

“I’m afraid the lights are out for us,” Angela told Jess, her next door neighbor. “Craig’s in the hospital; he fell, broke his ankle, sprained his arm, and he has two big shiners.” She pointed at her eyes, and circled her index fingers around them.

“He started to hang the lights, but lost his footing or got dizzy—not sure which—and fell down the steps. He’s doing well, considering, but they’re keeping him a couple of days for testing. I’ll stay at the hospital until he’s released; gotta’ nag him to eat right.” She gave a weak chuckle.

Jess realized that Angela and Craig had aged without him noticing. They seemed too young.

What he said instead: “We’ll watch over your house; give us a call so we’re sure to be home to help get Craig settled.”

Angela smiled a warm thanks. She hesitated before getting in the car, and said “Jess, you and your family have always enjoyed the lights, so please take them. It will keep them off Craig’s mind. He has quite a long attention span, you know.”

Jess laughed, nodded—and made another plan.

It was a remarkable plan—in part because several neighbors agreed to do a fair amount of work in a short deadline—but mainly because of the results.

cobaltsmallerAngela and Craig were treated to a spectacular view as they approached home. Their roof was covered—not just the edges, mind you, but the entire roof—with cobalt blue and white lights. Double strings lit up the walkway, outlined the front door and bay window, and covered the entire row of bushes on both sides of the porch.

Craig’s jaw dropped open. “It looks good enough to eat.”

Just as spectacular was the view of the front yard:  full of neighbors who were laughing, celebrating, admiring their handiwork, and ready to help Craig get settled.

“The lights are on for you, after all,” said Jess, with a slight, serious smile.

Jess’s remarkable plan has continued to shine…

The neighbors have gathered to take care of the lights on Craig and Angela’s house since Craig had his bad fall—the year the holiday lights became a Bleaker Street tradition.


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