Trina Machacek: Nocturnal walkabout
January 29, 2019
If you were to tell me that you never get up during the night to answer nature's knock at the bathroom door — I would look at you sideways and giggle. That being said, a few nights ago when I was up answering that 2:47 a.m. knock, I had a "well, dang me" moment. But — yes, I am flushing in an early "but" — but, I am getting ahead of myself. Here's the whole story:
I monitor my power bill. I don't want to say I am on a budget or that I am tight-fisted with a buck. Let's just say I try to plan my money in versus money out and where there is a dollar concerned, I hold on with the grip of an eight-armed octopus! OK, so I budget a little and am a tiny bit tight-fisted. So, when I was up roaming the nooks and crannies of my home that fateful night, I was quite surprised at the sights I saw.
When you go to bed, you turn out the lights, I assume. Unless you have that one monster living in the closet or under the bed. The light always keeps them at bay, you know. But suppose you have, along your life path, banished the monsters and you do turn off the lights. (Hurray for you, let the rest of us know how you did it.) Again, when you go to bed, you turn out the lights. With the lights out, I figure my power consumption is less than during the day, so I must be spending zero as I snooze. Right? That's very fiscally sound. Sound good to you? Sounds good to me.
This one night was not my first middle-of-the-night rodeo. I usually don't turn on the light as I don't want to wake up all my senses. It's easier to get back to sleep if my eyes have not been blinded by the light! However, I have one little night light to light the way as to not let my toes try to move the corner of the bed all by themselves. Ouch!
Then, task at hand accomplished, for some unknown reason I took a jaunt down the hall. I wasn't thirsty. I had already gotten a drink of bathroom water. Yes, yes I think bathroom water is the best. It's the coldest. I know that because it always takes the longest to warm up when I want to wash my hands — after — well, you know.
So, it wasn't a drink of water that sent me down the hall in the middle of the night. I was just roaming, doing a nocturnal walkabout. Then, I noticed it. A light. A little light over by the television. No, wait, there were two. Now, three. Another one was coming from another room and there were some in the kitchen. Crumb, there were little lights glowing seemingly everywhere I looked. It was truly a light bulb moment! Albeit tiny light bulbs.
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OK, so my mind didn't go directly to the cost of these little lights. I was a little comforted by the lights. Like little sentinels keeping watch over me. There were three at the TV. DISH box, the disc player — at least it wasn't flashing 12:00-12:00-12:00 at me. Remember those? I have a notepad thingy setting by the stationary bike I ride while watching TV during the winter because it's too cold for me to go out when it's -8, OK! Anyway, the notebook had an "I'm ready when you are" light glowing. My laptop on the dining room table has bubbles as a screen saver, and the bubbles were bubbling and glowing next to the printer and my Kindle. Microwave and kitchen stove had glowing clocks. Oh, the list of lighting sightings is long. Red, green, blue and some just a little glowing yellowish white. Kind of like walking inside a Christmas tree. UUGGHH. Don't say Christmas in January! The bills are about to arrive… Oh, bills. Yes, yes the power bill.
I did not count lights; I just went back to bed. Trying to get back to dreamland, this came to mind, "I wonder just how many pennies those dang lights have cost me over the years." Then, as night surrounded me, I began counting pennies. Then, the old puzzle came to mind. Remember this one? If you have a penny and double it every day, one cent, two cents, four cents, eight cents… Apparently, by the end of just one month you will have more money than you will know what to do with. So I kept going. Sixteen cents, 32 cents, 64 — as I got to 64, it triggered a memory of a friend who just turned 65 and that turned to the matter of Social Security. I never did get back to sleep.
I'll always keep a light burning, apparently.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Really!