An early observance of Isaac Newton’s Birthday

I woke up about 3:30 AM to go to the bathroom. Just after I got back to bed I heard an extended slippery sound, as if something large and soft had fallen. My first thought that James’s bedding had slipped off his bed (he was sleeping in the room next door). But that did not sound right. By now I was alert and analytical–no condition for sleep. I soon guessed what had happened, but did not want to believe it. However, there was no plausible alternative. I got back up and went to the living room. Even before turning on the light the answer was clear. I went back to the bedroom and woke mia_mcdavid up. The Christmas tree had fallen over.

We spent about 1/2 hour wrestling it back upright, and cleaning up the worst of the mess. We also looked it over. The tree is actually quite asymmetric, and we had the good side, with lots of big branches, facing the room. The other side faced the wall.

Well, lots of branches means lots of places to put ornaments, so the tree had been even more overbalanced by the time we had finished decorating with it. We really should have seen this coming. Hindsight is wonderful.

We got it back upright, tilting it more the other direction to get the center of gravity back over the stand. I thought of stronger measures, like using a rope to hold it to the nearby banister, or holding the tree stand in place with an anvil (yes, I do have an anvil lying around), but restrained myself.

This morning Mia finished mopping up the mess, and used a hair dryer to help the rug along. After a bit we will put the presents back. Incredibly, only one small glass ornament was broken.

In the process we got a clear data point on another issue. James has been sleeping upstairs the last couple nights, rather than in his basement room. He has been been complaining of trouble sleeping, which would certainly contribute to his medical woes of recent months. So we thought a change of bedroom might help. Last night he slept right through all the fuss with the tree. Not the slightest peep. So we may be on to something.

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