In which I see the light, again

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is coming home to the boat in the dark and seeing the first show of lights in the harbor. On sailboats, the lights are generally strung up the forestay and down the back, forming an inverted V, a pair of phantom sails.

This year, our boat was the first, thanks to the Keelhauler, who patiently tested all the bulbs in their snowflake-shaped jackets--a design indistinguishable from regular old lights at more than five feet, but on whose purchase I insisted.

The lights on the forestay are blue-and-white, on the backstay plain white, owing to that's what was in our storage from a couple of years ago. It's our nautical tribute to winter. Or Israel.

I attended, briefly and against my better judgment, a small gathering on a neighboring boat for Thanksgiving. It was evening, and I stood with the hostess on the back deck of her boat, from which we had a good view of the lights on mine. I mentioned that the Keelhauler had put them up before he left.

"We're putting ours up next week," the hostess told me between puffs on her cigarette. "It's gonna be way better, of course." Than mine, she meant. "No offense," she added.

"Oh, no, of course," I replied, as my better judgment laughed it up in my face, yelling, "Told you so!"

Star of the day. . .Jessica Fletcher
posted @ 12:29 p.m. on December 01, 2008 before | after


She lay awake all night,