Pride Goeth Before A Fall

Dec 8, 2019 | 2 comments

My friend Maggie says, “Don’t ever hesitate to ask for help.  People like to help.  It makes them feel good.”  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I always think to myself.  And then I wonder why that reasoning is so hard for me to believe.  Could it be that I don’t really like to help when I’m asked?  Or is it something about being an only child and being imbued with the thought that if I didn’t do it myself, no one was going to be there to do it for me.”  Not that those words were ever stated.  It just seemed to be the way it was.

It was probably that way for Nyel, too.  He’s another only child and, if anything, he’s more intent upon doing for himself than I am.  In fact, more than anyone I know.  So now that we have reached the old (me) and infirm (Nyel) stage of life, we (mostly I) are trying to come to grips with that whole independence/swallow-your-pride-thing.

What I have realized is that #1, if I want to continue doing some of the fun things in life, I’ll need help.  And #2, most people aren’t good at mind-reading so I have to ask.  Oh yes, and #3, Nyel would probably skip #1 instead of doing #2 which sometimes leads to #4 — one of those heart-to-hearts.  We’re getting good at those!

So, when it came to getting ready for Christmas, there was quite a bit of necessary pride swallowing around here.  First and  foremost — the whole tree thing.  If you read my column in the Observer last week, you probably figured out that the words Christmas and tree cannot easily be separated in this household.  So… I asked Tucker if he’d help me fetch, carry, and put the tree in the stand.

It all went surprisingly smoothly.  Getting the tree centered in the stand was a bit tricky, but Tucker persevered and by lunchtime yesterday the ten-foot (no eleven-footers available this year) noble fir was standing proud in our bay windows looking out to the east.  And thanks to Tucker’s good humor and a few “Christmas tree” stories of his own, our own pride is still intact, as well.

This afternoon, our friends John and Steve (who are tall!) are coming to put up the lights, the angel, and the ornaments on the high branches.  Again, I didn’t have to do more than ask and suggest a time.  I’m actually looking forward to it.  Tucker brought over his sturdy ladder for them to use — ours IS pretty rickety — and I feel that we are definitely being mindful of that old “pride goeth before a fall” expression — especially the “fall” part.  Ladders are at the top of my Not Any More list.


  1. Jane

    We had to scale our deck the halls routine way back this year. Russ is confined to a wheelchair and no weight bearing on the left foot after ankle replacement surgery a month ago. I realize this is peanuts compared to Nyel’s current condition. We have had plenty of help from neighbors, even one who provided a small decorated tree. No climbing up on ladders for me to get our 4 generations of ornaments. Some lights, music, and the season rings in our house. Not as festive looking, but still jolly.

  2. Betty kennedy

    You’ve been less dependent then we have about Christmas & decorating! We went from 8’ to 5’ to a 2-1/2 footer this year. Find we have cut down on all the other decorating also.

    We’ve had to get help from our children & young neighbors to do some of the lifting, ladder climbing, etc. our fireman neighbor Has warned Tom he doesn’t want to see him outside shoveling or snowblowing after he picked Tom out of our blue spruce. Tom tried to tell him he was taking a nap. In reality, his legs are failing & balance & walking are a serious problem for him. Now I make him carry his cell to call me “help! I’ve fallen & cant get up”.

    I don’t care a bit for this aging thing & wish there was something we could take to delay it.
    I’m sure you will have your comfortable home decorated very nice. Enjoy your holidays.


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