'Walking in a Winter Wonderland'
By Cheryl McCormack
What would the season be like without colorful, twinkling lights? Thankfully, Gene and Jeannette Rost, rural Washburn, have you covered.
The couple has been entertaining Hwy. 83 passersby for nearly a decade; this year is no exception.
Let's start at the beginning. The Rost's family tradition began in 2007, shortly after Gene's father passed away. "My dad had two reindeer and a sleigh. None of the other kids (Gene's siblings) wanted the decorations, so I took them." The rest is history...
Gene said he enjoys creating the display, making sure the lights shine just right. "I enjoy it and I know a lot of other people enjoy it, too. That's part of why I do it," he said.
The "winter wonderland" is truly a work of art; a project six, 10-hour days in the making. Gene works alone, installing the lights during his week-long Thanksgiving "vacation." "The (installation) time frame largely depends on how many lights need repairing," he said.
He starts with the house. Once he has their home looking like the "Griswald's," he moves on to the nativity scene and decorates his way out to the shed. According to Jeannette, the display is solely Gene's project. "Although if someone were to offer their help, I wouldn't refuse it," he said, with a smile.