Keeper of the Glow

The first thing Carl did this morning, before breakfast or working out or chores or anything except drinking his coffee which is important because otherwise he’d have fallen asleep standing on the chair which would be bad because it was at the top of the stairs anyhow where was I, oh yes: The first thing Carl did this morning was climb onto a chair and change the hall lightbulb.

We have very different approaches to lightbulbs and digital clocks. As long as there is one working clock or light in the house, I’m satisfied. During Carl’s deployment to Afghanistan last year the lights winked out one by one and I just…ignored them. The hall light went out, which wasn’t a problem since I could see just fine between the foyer light and the bedroom. The bathroom bulbs blew in slow succession, but one bulb works just as well as four for washing hands. The study light fizzled, but of course, the floor lamp still worked…

I finally gave in and started changing bulbs when the kitchen light blinked out one evening and I had to stumble from the stove, through the study, across the foyer, up the stairs, and into the bedroom in pitch darkness . Then I brushed my teeth in an inky cave missing only the bats and the stalactites. At that point, so many bulbs needed changing that there weren’t enough spares in the pantry and I had to strategically ration them to critical locations.

This makes Carl twitchy. He is magnetically drawn to clocks blinking 12:00 – 12:00 – 12:00. Burnt out bulbs summit the to-do list in seconds. When I picked him up at the airport after deployment, he reset my car display to Daylight Savings Time on the ride home.

I re-wire light fixtures. He makes sure the “light” part of “light fixture” stands a chance. I nanny the calendar. He shepherds the clocks. It’s a match made in heaven.


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