Saturday, May 2, 2009


If you have been to our home, you are well aware of the treacherous path you must take up the tipsy steps along the driveway, to the cratered slate walk, then up the narrow steps to the porch. If you are the homeowner, now add "try to fit key into door with no light source other than that annoying streetlight I wish would disappear".

We had a porch light, but it only worked intermittently--we would replace a bulb and it would burn out in 2 or 3 days. We'd put in a new bulb (we tried several kinds) but it would mysteriously quit working again. This was getting frustrating, as we had to get the ladder out to change bulbs, and pretty soon we just gave up and started cursing the darkness. I also thought that, while charming, the existing fixture was too small for Miss 43's stately face. It just kind of...disappeared into the front of the house.

I have been on a mission to replace the light. I'd been all over the online places and finally decided in the spirit of just getting it done NOW, something from Lowe's would suffice. J. and I picked out something very large and vaguely English cottage-looking.

In an act of installation and balance that involved two ladders, some angry wasps and a number of screwdrivers, we removed the fixture. Almost immediately I regretted doing so, as from the weight and quality of the fixture I realized this was probably Miss 43's original light.

It's extremely heavy, looks like aged copper, and had that cloth-wrapped wiring that screams "OLD"! But, I had to keep reminding myself,
it doesn't work, you sentimental donut!

J. climbed to install the bracket for the light. And of course, it didn't fit. The screws were too short to reach past the stonework. We don't have the right screws, and it's 6pm on Sunday, when everything closes. J. wraps the wiring, shoves it into the hole, and leaves for work in Columbus.

We spend most of the week with this:

Later that week, J comes home. We have to get metric bolts and there's a moment at Home Depot where the head-shaking they-don't-make-screws-that-size talk begins. I want to kill someone, but that's usual. We wind up going with two bolts. Back out come the two ladders (but not the wasps). We finally get the new light installed, and it's...well, it's BRIGHT!

I guarantee if you come to our house, not only will you be able to find your way up the steps and to the door, but you can probably arrive from outer space and know which house is ours. It lights up the Beer-varian Flag like a beacon for weary warriors .

I'm going to figure out why the little green cottage light doesn't work, and hopefully install it on the back of the house, where there is an obviously not-original light hanging. I won't feel one bit sentimental getting rid of it.


  1. Aqui Lisboa em Portugal. Gostei muito do blog. É educativo e está optimo. Obrigada

  2. Maga--Obrigado para a escrita!


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