The downside to having a house full of company over the holiday is the sense of emptiness once the dust has settled and everyone has returned home. The quietness or absence of sound when I got home from work last night was almost deafening. Even the General’s mother had gone to spend a couple of days with the General’s brother and his wife. It was just the two of us. It was strange, but the house seemed almost like it was too big for us.
After dinner the General asked, “Do you want to watch television first?” I didn’t have to ask: “Before what?” I knew what she meant. I interpreted her question as an affirmation that she preferred that we tune into HGTV. How did I know that? I knew that because we are creatures of habit. If the television is turned on, it is on channel #112 HD.
Normally, I sketch out some semblance of an outline for my daily blog before I succumb to House Hunters on television. The blog is never a finished product before I get coaxed into shared time, but I have at least an outline or thought of the theme for the next day’s blog. Since the General gave me a choice, I intuitively figured she had been filled with the sound of silence all day and needed conversation or diversion through an episode of Property Brothers. Why not? I could make a few notes for my blog later.
As it turned out, I slept almost entirely through the three episodes of whatever we watched on television. I think the General did as well. I awakened long enough in the last episode to see the three choices of houses the couple had viewed and were left to make a decision regarding the one they’d call home. All three contenders looked great from the outside. I was tempted to rewind the DVD recorder and watch the episode again. I didn’t remember seeing the first two houses at all. I was really tired. Consequently, I opted to delete the episode without ever really seeing it.
How do you know when it’s time to downsize or upsize or do something different? It sounds like a simple question, but I don’t know many people that get the answer correct. I’m not talking about assisted living. While I applaud the availability of that resource for individuals who’ve reach that stage in their pilgrimage where having folks readily available if needed is desired, the General and I are not there yet. On the other hand, we may be closer than I think.
We both absolutely love where we live, but I could convince myself we could also love something else. The General is far from being flexible in that regard, so the dye is pretty well cast that I’m staying put. However, I could convince myself that moving could be an option. I know I’m weird, but how’s this for rationale?
On the day after Thanksgiving, before our house filled with company, I noticed the indoor floodlight over the fireplace needed to be changed. I went to the garage to get the telescopic device that I use to change the can lights in our house. You’d be surprised at how many of the long lasting LED bulbs I’ve changed in the past six months. Despite ads reflecting a twenty-year life expectancy, ours are lasting about six months to a year.
I was absolutely flabbergasted when the light bulb changing device would not slip over the light bulb in the flood-lamp. By the way, there is one over the fireplace and one symmetrically located on either side of the fireplace.
I am not the sharpest Crayola in the box, but I connected the dots. Guess what? I’ve never changed any of the original light bulbs in the adjustable flood lamps on that side of the room. We’ve been in our house over fifteen years and the original bulbs have lasted that long. So the immediate question that came to mind was: “How was I going to get the bulb changed?”
Seriously, there aren’t many ladders that are equipped to reach that height. At least that is true of ladders that I have access to use. Fortunately, the ladder I purchased years ago to change the batteries in the smoke detector in our bedroom might work. The smoke detector is about sixteen feet above the floor. I still don’t know why it needed to be that high on the wall. Smoke detector batteries always go out at about 2:00 a.m. and make a beeping noise indicating the need to change the battery for the remainder of the night.
The ladder I purchased is a nice ladder and can be configured in a number of different ways. Unfortunately it has been so long since I last used it, that I couldn’t remember how it worked. I had to go find the directions. When the ladder was extended, it got me close. Unfortunately, it was still necessary to climb to about the third step from the top of the ladder and reach up to get to the bulb.
Gratefully the General was willing to hold the base of the ladder in place as a safety precaution. From my perspective of being high and lifted up, it didn’t feel safe. It didn’t feel safe at all. To say that I was sweating bullets isn’t an exaggeration. I was very grateful when I finally got both of my feet back on the floor.
So here’s the problem. The light-bulb in the flood-lamp over the fireplace is the easiest of the three flood-lamps to change. The other two flood-lamps located on either side of the fireplace don’t have a wall close enough to them to rest a ladder against and be able to reach the bulb. That only worked over the fireplace because he rock surface was two-to-three feet closer to the flood lamp than the walls on either side of the fireplace.
Okay, see if my logic sounds valid. If I sell the house now, the need to change those light bulbs will not be my problem. Short of scaffolding or renting an A-Frame ladder that will reach that tall, I’m short on luck. I’ve respectfully requested that the General refrain from turning on the lights on either side of the fireplace. After all, we obviously haven’t used them that often or the bulbs wouldn’t still be working.
In all seriousness, I’m not considering selling our house. For one thing, I’d really miss the General. Secondly, even though it felt deafeningly quiet last night, that in and of itself is not a bad thing. There will be noise and laughter again, but there is much to be said for a sense of quiet and calm.
All My Best!