At first nothing is visible except fir trees, aspen and a blanket of snow covering the ground – your standard holiday scene here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Suddenly, a faint hum fills the air, as a multi-colored being begins to rise from the ground. Vibrant green with a splash of red and white, and yes even some brown gradually starts to burst forth from the cove of trees. The “thing” gets taller and larger, filling with air, getting taller, getting fatter with each passing second. After 10 minutes of this, a face with a sly and slightly evil grin topped by a red Santa hat peers out from under the fir boughs. And like any faithful companion, a dog sits to his right, complete with fake antler strapped tightly to his head. The Grinch has risen again!
My adoption of the Grinch started in a land far, far away. In fact, I wasn’t even looking to adopt him, but happened upon him one evening 13 years ago near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. Ironically, despite his vast size, I came upon him in a small box within a “big box.” Thanksgiving weekend, as others frantically rushed the local Wal-Mart in search of flat screen televisions and iPads, I wandered the holiday decorations aisle and spied him — instantly I became smitten.
I should explain. As a child, like other children, I watched with glee the pre-Christmas shows about various heroes and villains of the holiday season — Frosty, Rudolf, Kris Kringle. But none delighted me more than the Grinch. His green skin, his evil smile, his devilish nature in trying to take Christmas away from Whoville. And topping it off, a dog — a very sad dog wearing an antler that made him go leeward, like the Titanic sinking into the icy Atlantic.
But the best part of the story of the Grinch was his conversion from bad to good. What woman wouldn’t be lured in by the proverbial bad boy who you continually try to change into Prince Charming? In real life, you rarely get your fairy tale. But in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, his heart does grow three times that day and what was evil is turned to good — hooray!
After acquiring the Grinch, he spent the next 12 years journeying with me around the country, adorning my front yard — his 8 feet of inflated Santa Suit with devilish grin delighting neighbors far and wide. First in Philadelphia, later the tiny rural town of Hancock, and then a big move to western Colorado until he ultimately ended up here in Nederland. Children of a nearby neighbor looked forward to his green ugly mug every Thanksgiving weekend, forcing their father to take a detour down our street just to see the Grinch.
Nederland has not been kind to the Grinch. Its gale force, hurricane winds buffet his inflated body hither and yon, tossing him about like a ship battling a Nor’easter on the ocean. Along the way, those winds and traveling literally took the life out of him. Last Christmas, when we plugged him in, instead of puffing his chest up, he deflated and lay on ground, like a boxer on the canvas after the final knock out punch.
I mourned — the Grinch was dead.
I was sad — what would Christmas be like with no Grinch? I tried finding a replacement Grinch — I scoured the Internet, went to Home Depot, Target, and Wal-Mart, even checking Ebay in a last ditch effort. But there was no Grinch to be found.
But my husband, my handyman husband, my husband who can fix anything spent hours the last two weeks taking the Grinch apart, putting in a new motor, patching his leaks. What I thought was not possible is true.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Grinch has risen again — HE’S BACK!!!