Sunday, July 31, 2011

Let There Be LIGHT

The house we live in was built in the mid-80's and has a very 80's style galley kitchen with a double bulb fluorescent light fixture centered overhead.  For the past several months ...okay, maybe the past year or so ...the kitchen light has been 'moody.'  One of three things would happen when you flipped the switch ...bright light immediately flooded the kitchen from the overhead fixture which was ideal,  or semi-bright light immediately flooded the kitchen because one of the bulbs seemed to be functioning at about half-capacity, or a dull candle-like glow immediately flooded the kitchen because both bulbs seemed to be functioning at half-capacity.  If either of the last two things happened, I learned that just leaving it alone for long enough, the bulbs would suddenly come to life and things would be bright again.  As time wore on, the occurrence of the first thing where flipping the switch resulted in immediate bright light from both bulbs became more and more rare.  But since it still worked sometimes, and there were always things on my list that were not working at all, I have just lived with it all this time.  I've always believed in the rule you don't fix what ain't broke.  And in the interest of stretching a dollar, I've tweaked it in recent years to you don't fix what ain't completely broke.  

That finally happened a few weeks ago with the kitchen lights.  Both bulbs just gave up the ghost completely.  With the hours we've both been working and other more pressing commitments on the weekends, it took me a while to get around to replacing them.   Honestly, I kind of thought Yeoldfurt would fix them.  He's gotten after me from time to time for fixing things or devising a plan to fix things that he's already got on his list.  For whatever reason, I just thought replacing the bulbs was on his list somewhere.  So several weeks went by with me cooking with just the hood light over the stove and ambient light from the adjacent rooms.  It was working okay but I did miss having good lighting.  So I decided to drop a hint by taking the plastic light diffuser cover down and washing it one Sunday while he was at work.  It's four feet long so I took it outside to clean it up and left it laying across the wheelbarrow by the back door to dry.  I thought it would serve as a subtle hint to Yeoldfurt that the kitchen light was ready for new bulbs. 

He noticed it when he came home and we talked a little about whether we had any spare bulbs stashed in the garage or one of the shops, but it turns out we didn't so the conversation really didn't go anywhere.  I had to run errands today ...get the car inspected, pick up cat/dog/chicken food in town and go to the bank so I decided to stop at the local hardware store and pick up a couple of bulbs.  It took me all of ten minutes to snap the old ones out and snap the new ones in.  I put the light diffuser cover back on the fixture and flipped the switch.  IMMEDIATE BRIGHT LIGHT flooded the kitchen ...oh, it was grand!  Such a simple thing but you sure do miss it when it's gone. 

I went down the hall to Yeoldfurt's office and said, "High five me, honey ...we have LIGHT in the kitchen again!"  Made him laugh.  He was in the kitchen a few minutes later and said, "You know ...I would have done that for you weeks ago, but you mentioned you were going to do it and I didn't want to take over your project.  You told me once that I have a tendency to take over your projects sometimes and I'm trying to be better."  Ugh!  Then I laughed and told him I had taken so long to get it done because I thought it was on his project list and didn't want to get in his way ...but that I had gotten tired of cooking in the dark. 

Guess we need to work on communication.  Subtle hints might work in some scenarios but sometimes a simple question ...'is this on my list or yours?' ...might be the better way to go! 


  1. hmmm, sort of an inverted "Gift of the Magi"...

  2. Yeah, in a way I guess it was ...we try hard not to step on each other's toes. Not for fear of repercussions but because we each care about what the other wants. Little scenarios like leaving the kitchen light burned out for so long add a little levity once in a while too.

    I can tell our grandchildren one day how 'I once cooked in the dark for a whole month so I wouldn't make Yeoldfurt feel pressured to fix the light' and Yeoldfurt can tell them, "Yeah, I had to sit on my hands and bite my tongue for a whole month to keep from fixing it or saying anything because I thought she wanted to fix it herself!"