It was serendipity that school had a 2 hour snow delay the morning when the repairman was scheduled to come to the house. N. loved watching the repairman as he worked. He looked like he could have made a great Santa, no fake whiskers required!!
They talked and enjoyed each other's company, the older: about how he got started repairing clocks as a boy along side a neighbor... and the younger: about how he likes to build motors and other inventions with Legos and Tinker Toys.
After the repairman left, N. was anxious to decorate the clock. A no-no I am sure after he carefully balanced it and all, but we couldn't resist. First try was to use these snowball looking lights. It came together nicely and then...no light when we plugged in the string. I hate that, don't you? The next thing was to start again and this is what we ended up with.
N. has been collecting nutcrackers since he was a baby so he has amassed a surprising group in 10 years, mostly as gifts and a few found here and there from garage sales. He can spy one on a table of hundreds of miscellaneous thrifty things in 2 seconds flat!