Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lightening Up

"Shut the lights off!"

My mother hollered that down the hallway more times than I can remember when I was a kid. I was 11 years old during the Energy Crisis. She also turned down the thermostat and the only way to truly feel warm in our house was to sit on a blaring heat register. I was always disappointed when the furnace shut off and my flannel nightgown went cold instantly.I still hear her voice going round in my head if I leave a room without switching off the lights.

Dearest one and I often think we are oddities because if you come to our house and we are in the livingroom, well, that's the only room that is has light. If we go to someone's house and all the lights are on we can get critical lickety split. Dearest one grew up without electricity for much of his childhood. He still loves the light and smell of a coal oil lamp. I have no reference point for them so I don't. They stink. And make me squint if I'm trying to read.

All this to say it is a grey, cloudy day outside. I hope it brings rain. We need it. The cows will be going home in a few weeks because they are eating our pasture faster than it can grow. Dearest one says they should be able to be on pasture until the snow flies. Okay, so the snow could fly in two weeks here, that is not unheard of. But usually it holds off to stay until the end of October.

This morning I went past the kitchen on the way to the living room and realized just how grey and dismal it is outside. On a whim I turned on the lights in the kitchen and dining room just to brighten things up. Light is a hopeful thing. Maybe that's why people have lots of lights on in their houses. I've been critical of something that most likely brightens their mood. I would have never even considered that had I not flipped on a switch unnecessarily this morning.

Photo Credit


Black Pete said...

There is a time and place for lighting, and I'd agree with you on switching on the tungstens.

For 3 years, I lived in an intentional community with no running water, electricity or central heating, and to this day, keep a few kerosene lamps around in case: on cold days and nights, they can elevate the temperature of the room, and their gentle warm yellow light is soothing.

Anonymous said...

Ahh! The energy crisis! Me too. Remember that song by the Kinks, "A Gallon of Gas"? Still love that song. Can you imagine the riots and mayhem that would ensue if gas stations started shutting down like they did in the 70's? I too can remember, always, always cold. No less than two or three layers on at all times. I am so grateful that we burn with wood, warm to the max!
I love the new look of your blog, so bright and cheerful!

Duckie23 said...

I admit I'm one to turn on the lights if I need an emotional lift. Especially in the bedroom and kitchen, but I thought it was a strange tick of mine. I think of them as the two places in my home that need to be inviting.

I hope the snow doesn't fly quite yet!