The “Re-lightenment” of Lot 26

One of my favorite “post work” (really, I just bring the work home with me) activities is to make a small pot of herbal tea and then pour it into a tiny sake cup.  A strange method it may seem, but I find it has many benefits:

1) A small cup cools the tea faster to a drinkable temperature.

2) I can imagine that I am a dainty person while I drink from my dainty cup.

3) Pouring several mini cups of tea has the double benefit of slowing down my drinking AND making it seem like I get to drink a lot of tea!

4) I can pretend I am a giant and these human cups are too small for me.

5) If I’m feeling rebellious, I can drink the tea like shots.  (This is for if I have a bad day at work….it’s amazing what the action of doing shots does for you, even if the drink inside the cup is not at all alcoholic).

This is not why I originally started this blog post, however.  Though, I dare say, the topic I mean to explore is related to the above tea-drinking method:  it is strange, but beneficial!

So about a week and a half ago, CF was doing some work on our back door.  (He installed it a while back, but we’ve been having some torrential rains, and it became obvious something didn’t get sealed right.)   Part of the work he was doing involved using an electric saw. Somewhere in the process, the power of the saw blew a fuse or a circuit or something.  Actually, it couldn’t have been that it blew a fuse because that would have been a simple fix.  Instead, suddenly, the overhead lights in our bedroom, the bathroom, and the guest bedroom were dead, as well as most of the outlets in those rooms.  No outlets would work in either bedroom, but one outlet by the sink in the bathroom was still functioning.

So–what we discovered is that the wiring around here is really f-ed up.  So much so that CF couldn’t quite understand what had happened (and he used to do lots of electrical work with his step-dad back in the day).  CF had a theory on what had happened (don’t ask me to repeat it…it had lots of lingo I’m unfamiliar with in it), but didn’t know how to go about fixing the issue.

So where did that leave us? With Christmas lights strung up around the mirror in the bathroom plugged into the one working outlet–and with a long extension cord running from that same outlet to our wifi router.  At night, we’d switch the cord to head to the bedroom and keep a fan running.

Sounds like a pain in the butt, right?  Well, at first it sort of was.  But then something beautiful happened.  I began to notice that those Christmas lights in the bathroom were  a lot less harsh than the overhead light.  They gave just enough light to use the toilet and then get ready for bed (brush teeth, take out contacts, etc), but they allowed the bathroom to stay nice and dark…like the night time should be.  In the morning, the bathroom window let in plenty of light for showers.

And then there’s the bedroom:  I began to look forward to lighting two candles every night to find my way into the bedroom.  Then I’d place one candle on each nightstand.  I loved the ritual of it.  The simple glow of the flame, and the way candlelight doesn’t take away the fact that it’s night time—it almost intensifies it.  I loved watching the shadows on the walls just before I blew out the candle…that brief smell of smoke wafting by as I laid down my head to go to sleep.

And yes, I even liked the idea of unplugging the internet for the night so that we could use the fan in the bedroom.  We really should be unplugging all the internet/computer/tv junk at night to save on energy.  But the literal “unplugging” also helped me feel ready for bed, for sleep, for dreams.

Yesterday, CF’s biodad (also an electrician) came over to take a look at the situation.  He seems to think that the permanent fix will involve rewiring several rooms/outlets, but he found a way to rig up a temporary fix that has restored power in all the rooms (which involves an extension cord draped over a doorway).   After biodad left, I admitted to CF that I was going to miss those nights of candles and darkness.  The smooth transition from waking to sleep.

Thought it’s nice to know we don’t have to choose between a fan and the internet on nights when we don’t go to bed at the same time, I’m not sure our getting back the lights is a good thing.  So, last night, I shut them all off again, and walked to the bedroom with two lit candles in my hand.  I think I slept better for it.  And I hope I will continue to.

About Cathy G Gilbert

I am veggie-loving, community college professor who lives, teaches, and writes in Central IL.
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