• Last modified 873 days ago (March 26, 2020)


Another Day in the Country

Let there be light

© Another Day in the Country

You can probably commiserate with me when I say I went shopping for light bulbs the other day, and I mean serious shopping.

My stash in the pantry had completely run out!

Years ago the light bulb industry went haywire, in my opinion, in an attempt to save electricity.

For a long time, I had a stock pile of 100 watt bulbs, but now they weren’t available.

My usual haunt for light bulbs is Dollar G — the go-to place for quick-need ‘necessities’ and bargain pricing. But their supply of bulbs was low and I couldn’t find what I needed — bulbs in 4-packs! 

My hunt needed to be expanded, so I went to the semi-economy hardware store in a bigger town and found a shelf full of bulbs in brown paper cases that I’d never used before. Of course, I asked for help and the twenty-something guy was oblivious to my dilemma.

“I’m one of those senior citizens who doesn’t like LED lights,” I said. “The color is off! They don’t look warm and inviting! They are expensive! I need some advice. And are these really $8 a bulb?”

I was apoplectic. He was impatient.

Finally, I just had to bite the bullet and fill my cart with expensive, strange, light bulbs that touted a 10-year life expectancy!

“Are you telling me that if this bulb burns out anytime during the next 10 years I get a refund,” I said.

He assured me that was the case, so long as I had the original packaging and receipt. 

In my house, that’s a sure recipe for non-refundable! Who keeps light bulb packages for 10 years? And receipts? And will the store still be in business? Ten years is a long time!

But, I am willing to try almost anything given that I constantly have to replace light bulbs. They just don’t last! Gone are the days when a light bulb would last several years! 

I walked out of the hardware store $90 poorer, clutching my little bag of LED light bulbs, hoping for the best! I’d hedged my bets, in the store, choosing half of the bulbs as “daylight” and half of them as “soft white.”

When I turned on the kitchen ceiling light with five bulbs supposedly generating equivalent to 60 watts of light each, it was like lightning struck, or the time in ancient history when the Apostle Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus!

Talk about bright light! I needed sunglasses to approach the kitchen, especially since my cataract surgery and new plastic lenses in my eyes. I had to turn off the light!

“Way too bright,” I mumbled.

Later, Jess came over to watch television and walked into the kitchen to make popcorn.

“Whoa,” she said after she flipped on the switch. “You’ve got a lot of light!”

She was shielding her eyes.

I thought about my lighting dilemma overnight.

“I’m bowing to LED lights,” I decided. “I’ll live with the expensive bulbs. I’ll even save the receipt and the carton on a shelf in the pantry right above where I store the bulbs; but I refuse to be blinded when I walk into my kitchen.”

So, I took down the “daylight” bulbs and installed the “soft light” bulbs.

“Still bright, but tolerable,” I said to myself, squinting to see if I should just unscrew a couple.

After my experience buying LED lights, spending almost $100 and coming out with a little sack of bulbs that would service maybe four or five light fixtures, I counted how many bulbs were called for in this house: 98, and that doesn’t count the garage where the lights are florescent!

When I was a child, Grandma didn’t have electricity at the farm until I was a teenager. She used those old fashioned kerosene lamps, and later on, the more refined oil lamp with a fragile wick.

Hanging over the kitchen table, the lamp cast this warm golden glow in the kitchen, warming the room. It was the only light in the house and the kitchen was where everyone usually stayed until bedtime.

My, how times have changed. We’ve become extravagant with electricity. We take it for granted, just expecting it to be there.

Some outside lights stay on all night long, like the yard light behind Ramona House that’s been burning almost nonstop for 25 years. Before we lived full time in Ramona, we called it “our insurance policy,” hoping this sign of life discouraged pranksters and thieves.

There’s nothing more welcoming after spending another day in the country than to come home and find a light on the porch or a warm glow coming from inside the house, preferably in the kitchen.

“So what if they’re LEDs,” I conceded. “I just have to remember to only get ‘soft light’ bulbs if I want ambiance!

Last modified March 26, 2020