Chapter 37: The Bailey Tree

Decorating the Bailey tree was not nearly as complicated as decorating the Greene’s tree. There were no “memory lane” photos or “around the world” ornaments to reminisce about. Davis and Connor Bailey were strictly blue lights and tinsel sort of guys. They’d been bachelors for the past five years. Without Debbie in the house, decorating was sometimes left to chance. Some years it got done and some years it didn’t. This was one of those years it was going to get done.

Connor and Daisy unraveled what seemed like miles of blue lights. They made two piles. One pile was the blue lights that blinked and one pile was the blue lights that didn’t blink. The blinking lights were wrapped around the tree and the non-blinking lights were wrapped around the balcony railing, the edges of the balcony sliding glass door and the window over the living room couch. That was about as creative as it got until the tinsel came.

“Tinsel fight!” Connor hollered at the top of his lungs! He threw a huge handful of tinsel in Daisy’s direction and hit her square in the side of the head.

“Aaaa….!” Covered in tinsel, she screamed and threw a whopping handful back.

He dodged it, of course, so the tinsel covered the coffee table and recliner instead.

Much to Daisy’s annoyance, Connor remained clean of tinsel so she threw another whopping handful at him as he flew by her.

Connor laughed and dodged again. The tinsel landed in one big glob on the side of the tree. “Hey that’s a perfect shot, Day, do it again!” he teased.

“Hold still, you cheater!” Daisy charged with two fists full of tinsel and tossed them through the air. The tinsel fluttered wildly all over the room.

Connor twirled to the side. “You missed me!” he laughed hilariously.

“I’m gonna get you!” She grabbed more and chased him into the dining area. She gave another might swing. Tinsel crash-landed everywhere across the dining table, chairs and floor, but Connor continued to be annoyingly spotless.

“Aaaaa…. get back here!” Daisy screamed as she continued to chase him through the house. Finally, in desperation she stepped up onto the recliner chair and leapt in his direction as he ran by her. She landed on his back like a monkey. “I got you now!” She grabbed the tinsel out of her own hair and stuffed it down the neck of his shirt! “There ya go, dodger boy! I got ’cha!” Daisy laughed victoriously!

“Ha!” Connor choked out laughter as he attempted to shake her off his back but she had her legs wrapped around his waist and her good arm around his neck pretty tight. She wasn’t going to give in easily.

Davis and Coach Peggy strolled in the front door and stopped dead in their footsteps. “What the heck is go ’in on in here, boy!” Davis hollered out in an amused tone.

“Uhhhhh….” was all Connor said, so Daisy cheerfully answered for him, “We’re decorating!” she giggled out.

Coach Peggy started laughing. “I think tinsel is for the tree, darling, not the floor”

Shaking his head with amusement, Davis continued into the house and placed his shopping bags onto tinsel covered dining chairs. He scooped up a handful of tinsel from the dining table and with a twinkle of mischief in his eye, tossed it at Peggy.

“Oh…. Daddy wants to play, does he?” Peggy grinned as she scooped up a handful of tinsel from the floor. She stepped forward and quick as a flash, threw it back at Davis.

Davis chuckled but didn’t move so the tinsel fluttered onto his shoulder and just sat there.

“My goodness Davis, you sure are, one-rusty-old-man!” Peggy took another handful of tinsel from the dining table and threw it at him again.

He ducked this time and the tinsel flew over his head. He charged forward, yelling, “Who’s calling me a rusty old man?”

“Oh shoot!” Peggy took off running through the house, grabbing handfuls of tinsel as she went because Davis was right behind her, laughing his head off, with his own hands full of tinsel. He beamed her in the back a couple of times but it didn’t stick so he grabbed more along the way and kept on chasing her.

Connor resumed shaking Daisy from the strangle hold she had on him. Eventually, he shook her loose and plopped her on the couch. She scrambled to her feet grabbing tinsel as she went. “This fight ain’t over yet!” she hollered as she threw tinsel then ran for her life.

“Aw man, I am so gonna get you now, girl!” He grabbed tinsel from the coffee table and tossed it through the air.

The four of them continued the tinsel war until the entire house was covered in shiny silver and they were all out of breath from chasing. Each person considered themselves to be the winner of the war, but really folks, in this kind of battle isn’t everybody a winner?

It was now very late at night. Davis pulled back all the curtains so the evening stars could shine into the apartment. He went around the house flicking on all the blue lights and flicking off all the regular house lights. Connor dug a large candle out of the hall closet and placed it in the center of the dining room table. The candle and blue Christmas lights sparkled romantically throughout the silver tinsel covered house. The four of them, exhausted, plopped down into cushy living room couches and looked around, in awe.

“Now that’s…. perdy,” Davis mumbled in a deep, husky, Southern tone. Peggy snuggled up to him and he wrapped both arms around her, whispering in her ear, “Perdy, perdy, perdy Peg… I gotta perdy Peg….and a perdy house.” His weather worn face turned slightly red when he realized what words suddenly slipped from his lips.

Peggy smiled, laugh lines lightly creasing her own blushing face. Her warm smile was enough for Davis to understand that she appreciated his rusty attempt at a lover’s comment. “Maybe you aren’t so rusty after all,” she whispered back. “You got me in the back with tinsel a hundred times or more and in the heart at least that many times with your compliments. ”

“I suppose, my bowl ’in arm has still got some kick in it, and umm… as far as compliments go…. well…. I hope I can come up with something better than perdy Peg in the future. It just seemed to fit with perdy house.” Davis waved his hand around the room at the blue lights, chuckling.

Peggy pushed him in the side playfully. “Oh Davis.”

They glanced over at Connor and Daisy squished in the midst of a pile of disheveled cushions on the other couch. They were pulling shiny tinsel out of each other’s hair, one strand at a time. “My kids aren’t too bad either,” Davis mumbled, contentedly.

Feeling Like a Winner

Everybody’s a winner

When love is the key

It’s not about the house

Or how clean it can be

It’s about what’s inside it, the people I mean

Make ’in ’em happy, is important you see

So….

Hug ’em and kiss ’em and play with ’em too

When they are grown, they will thank you

For love ’in ’em good and leading the way

For when you are loving

You win… everyday

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