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Along the Lakeshore: holiday decorations

COLUMN

It is my thought that a lot of folks were seduced into thinking real winter was not coming this year. Why should we rush out and put up Christmas lights on those balmy days in November? Then Thanksgiving weekend was cold and snowy and it has stayed that way. There are some fine lights around the village, but not as many as I remember from past years.

My former neighbor to the south had extensive decorations when his children were around for Christmas. The last two winters Sue and I have gone to Rhode Island and Connecticut for Christmas and I did not make an effort to string lights at the top of my driveway. Actually, the two small spruce trees have not been thinned and I don’t think I have enough lights anymore.

We used to shear three trees to keep them in shape and slow down the growth. Roger Cook on “This Old House” convinced me I should be using a hand trimmer and taking out a quarter of the new growth every year. He said the trees will prosper and will not look like a sheared hedge. This seems to me to be a good plan, but in the good weather in August and September I don’t seem interested in messing around with pitch and all those pruning decisions — “should I cut this one or that one?” — all day long. Maybe next summer I won’t be trying to get into the way of the next generation running Upstate Temperature Control and I will make progress in this direction.

I must comment on the very tall, beautifully-lighted tree on West Genesee Street. I saw the powered lift in the yard and it didn’t dawn on me that it was there to allow access to the tippy top of a very tall and well-shaped spruce tree in his yard to install the lights. The effect is outstanding.

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