This Side Up

Can't wait for the jolt of a sunny weekend


What a fate.

It’s hard to imagine that I’m out of projects. I’m blaming it on another rainy weekend day.

At this time of year when there’s so much to do, I had the projects lined up from planting the garden, trimming dead branches and readying the pool for opening, to painting the bottom of the boat and cleaning out Ollie’s pen. I was also hoping to fit in mowing the lawn. These long days are perfect for that, but now it’s rain, rain and more rain.

So, on Sunday I tackled the last of my indoor projects. It’s not that I keep a written list, although that would prove helpful. I couldn’t forget this one anyway. I was reminded of it every time I climbed the stairs.

The light at the top of the stairs went out with a flash some months ago. Of course, every so often a bulb burns out and that’s what I imagined happened. It was time for a new bulb, but removing the glass globe from the hanging fixture isn’t all that easy. Carol found the two-step ladder and steadied me as I handed her the globe. Next came the bulb and its replacement.

I flicked on the switch before replacing the globe. It worked. I wrestled with the globe, fortunately, not dropping it.

With everything back in place, I hit the switch again. I was greeted with another bright flash followed by nothing. Carol looked perturbed. I couldn’t blame her.

“Let’s make sure the switch is off,” I said. She nodded.

For a second time I removed the globe. This time one of the wires leading to the fixture were loose and where they connected was blackened. This wasn’t good. The time had come to replace the fixture.

The light has been a part of the house ever since we bought it in 1975. It’s vintage 60s and showing its age, which explains why I couldn’t find a replacement at Lowe’s. I did, however, find a socket that resembled the one with the scorched wires.

I had my rainy day project.

I’ve always been respectful of electricity although I’ve never gotten more than a slight tingling while fiddling around with the wiring under the hood of my first car, a 1954 Plymouth. That was enough, so before tackling anything electrical of a more serious nature than replacing the batteries in a flashlight I shut down the juice.

Sunday looked like the perfect day. There was rain and there was lots of time before darkness set in. This shouldn’t take more than an hour, I figured.

I gathered the necessary things – pliers, the new fixture, electrical tape, knife and a larger stepladder that would get me up close to the ceiling.

I waited until Carol took Ollie for a walk to shut off all the electricity and got to work. Everything came together faster than I imagined. The electricity was back on in ten minutes and the light worked fine. Project accomplished.

And then reality hit me – I had done the last of the “must do” projects. I could go on to other things such as straightening out the cellar workbench and putting away the boxes of winter clothes that Carol had packed. It’s not really what I wanted to do.

Those outdoor projects were beckoning.

I sense I’m not alone. There’s a pent up urge to get outside to all those projects. It’s going to be jolt when we finally get a sunny weekend. I’m ready. I’ve got my list.


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